Roy Hodgson speaks about his squad selections for the San Marino and Montenegro games
Roy Hodgson admits it's the right time to bring Rio Ferdinand back to the England squad
The England Manager has picked the Manchester United defender for the first time since taking over, for the matches with San Marino and Montenegro this month.
And Hodgson hopes he can play a major role in helping the Three Lions record important victories in the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers.
Hodgson said: "I have been following Rio for quite a while now. I have seen United play a few times - he is playing well and this is the moment to select him because he deserves it on current form.
"We need to move forward and I am convinced he is the man who can do that. A player of Rio's calibre and age - you don't bring them in as back-up or for the future.
"You hope they will make the team better and give us a better chance of winning. He is in the squad in order to play - not just to make up the numbers.
"Like all players you select, you feel they are capable of doing the job you want them to do. I think he is the man to help us in these games and the games ahead."
Ferdinand has not played for England since the 2-2 draw with Switzerland back in June 2011 and hasn't ever been picked by Hodgson since his appointment last May.
But he has been earning rave reviews for Manchester United this season and Hodgson says it was a 'no-brainer' to include him in the squad.
With Phil Jagielka ruled out through injury and Joleon Lescott not playing regularly for Manchester City, Hodgson is hoping Ferdinand will make an immediate impact on his return to the senior set-up.
And even though Ferdinand turns 35 in November, Hodgson says he will not hesitate in picking the experienced defender in his squad for the World Cup Finals in 2014 if he is showing the same kind of form.
He added: "The World Cup in 2014 is a long way away but if Rio is playing like he is now, he stands a great chance of getting into the squad.
"I have understood he is disappointed when he has not been playing but I hope he will be keen to be back. I will be speaking a lot to him during the week like all the players. I am picking him on form and merit.
"We know what Rio is capable of doing. At the moment he is in a rich vein of form. It was a no-brainer and we need a good centre-half.
"We are talking about an England football team. Not just individuals. I don't envisage any problems and if there are, I will have to deal with them."
Hodgson was also delighted to call upon the services of West Brom 'keeper Ben Foster, following his self-imposed absence from the England set-up since 2011.
Hodgson added: "I am pleased we have two excellent 'keepers.
"He is playing very well for his club side and he has decided, after a long absence, that he wants to play again."