Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Roy Hodgson: Michael Owen could still play for England

The Stoke striker could yet become his country’s Martin Palermo.

ENGLAND MANAGER ROY HODGSON has challenged Michael Owen to make a return to the national side after more than four years in the wilderness.

The 32-year-old netted 40 times in 89 appearances for England, but his last appearance for England came in March 2008 against France.

In the absence of the injured Wayne Rooney, Hodgson was short on striking options for the World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine, and despite the good progress shown by Jermain Defoe, Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge, he feels he needs to add an experienced forward to his squad.

Owen could have the chance to force his way into Hodgson’s thinking if he can play regularly and score on a consistent basis at the Britannia Stadium over the coming months.

The England boss admitted to reporters that whoever is in form and playing regularly will have a good chance of getting a call-up.

“Any player, be he Michael Owen or anyone else, who is on fire, scoring goals and playing extremely well in the Premier League every week, they are going to come to our attention,” Hodgson said.

“We look at all players. I have chosen players so far on what I have seen in the Premier League over the last couple of years.

“I like Michael. Like all football lovers, I admire what he has done in the past.

“He’s had a wonderful career, it’s disappointing he hasn’t played as many games as he would like in the last couple of years.

“Now, hopefully, he will get the chance and we will wish him well.”

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