Roy Hodgson welcomes 'opportunity to see Ings and Alli'

Thursday 01 Oct 2015

Roy Hodgson says Danny Ings has been on his radar for a while after calling the Liverpool striker into his England squad for the first time.

Ings and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli are the two new names in his 24-man list for their final pair of Euro 2016 Qualifiers against Estonia at Wembley and away in Lithuania.

And with qualification for the Finals in the bag, Hodgson believes this is the opportune moment to see two players who have impressed in the Premier League this season at close-hand.

England v Estonia

UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifier
7.45pm, Friday 9 October 2015
Wembley Stadium connected by EE
Buy tickets here

"Danny is someone we followed very closely with Burnley last year," said Hodgson when he spoke to the press at Wembley on Thursday. 

"But we didn't really have a chance to bring him in with us because of the Under-21s tournament – he was an important member of the U21s. So we never felt we could rob them, as it were, to have him with us. 

"Now, of course, he is a senior and it was a good opportunity to bring him in. Especially because he has been playing with Liverpool and scoring some goals."

He added: "Dele Alli is, I suppose, the more off-beat one in the sense that he is so young and only just broken into the Tottenham team. 

"But we have been very impressed with what we have seen of him. 

"We are a year away from France so we're thinking it is a good opportunity to ask him to come with us on this occasion, when so many midfield players are actually missing through injury, and get to know him a bit better.

"Who knows, going forward, where he will end up? He is a very exciting talent."

Roy Hodgson speaks to the press after naming squad

While Ings was called into the squad, along with fellow Reds Nathaniel Clyne, James Milner and Adam Lallana, one man from Anfield was not included in Hodgson's selection.

Daniel Sturridge has not featured for England since September last year, spending much of the time on the sidelines with injury.

However, he returned to action for Brendan Rodgers' team against Norwich last week and then scored twice in their victory over Aston Villa on Saturday.

But the England boss feels the 26-year-old will be better off continuing his return to full fitness on Merseyside so he is ready to go with the Three Lions for next month's games against Spain and France.

John Stones and Danny Ings

Danny Ings will join John Stones in the England senior squad

"Myself, Ray Lewington and Gary Neville had our meeting to discuss what we thought the squad should be and we made a decision [about Sturridge] then," he revealed.

"We think it is better for him at the moment, having just come back, to really concentrate on what is almost a pre-season for him. This two weeks will be really important for him.

"We can survive without him in these two games where we are already qualified and I'm really hoping for Daniel that we'll see a player who comes to us in November super-fit, fully-recovered and in great form. 

"We think the best way to have that in November is to leave him on October."

Tickets for England v Estonia next Friday are available to buy online from

By Jamie Bradbury FA Editor