Roy Hodgson says Berahino call-up was 'obvious'

Thursday 06 Nov 2014
Roy Hodgson says Saido Barahino's call-up was "obvious"
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Roy Hodgson says his decision to bring Saido Berahino into the England senior squad was "obvious" after the striker's recent run of form. 

The England manager named a 26-man squad for the Three Lions' upcoming games against Slovenia and Scotland, and for the West Bromwich Albion man it was his first call-up. 

Hodgson, who knows Berahino from his time as Baggies boss, has been impressed with the 21-year-old's displays both in the Premier League and for the Under-21s. 

England v Slovenia

European Qualifier
5pm, Saturday 15 November
Wembley Stadium connected by EE

And after helping Gareth Southgate's team secure a place at the European Championship with a play-off goal against Croatia last month, Hodgson believes it's the right time for Berahino to step up. 

"The reasons are quite obvious - he's done so well, not only for West Bromwich Albion but also for the Under-21 team," said Hodgson. "He's really been in good form. 

"The last get-together he was obviously in our minds but we didn't choose him because of the importance of the two Under-21 qualifiers against Croatia. 

"But this time they have a friendly match, so there's no reason to pass over his credentials yet again." 

Hodgson also said Berahino would be a contender to play in the two games, rather than just joining the squad for the experience. 

Saido Berahino celebrates his 85th minute penalty

Berahino celebrates for the Under-21s

"When you call players up, you call them up to play and they must come into the group believing they have a good chance of playing," he added. 

"I'm sure Saido will come wanting to play and hoping to play. He faces stiff opposition. He's a bright boy and understands that. 

"He's not there for the learning process. But at the age of 21 and getting his first call-up I'm sure he'll understand like we all do that he hasn't made it to Wayne Rooney status yet. 

"But his journey starts here and we wish him well on the journey." 

England face Slovenia at Wembley on Saturday 15 November and tickets are still available to buy online, click here for details.

Watch footage of Roy Hodgson's press conference after he named his squad for Slovenia and Scotland


By Jamie Bradbury FA Editor