It seems that Roy Hodgson is bucking the trend for England managers to only favour those players from the upper echelons in the #Premier League. His latest squad for the two internationals in June suggests that he is casting his net throughout the division, recognising that players involved in the relegation battle are just as deserving of his watchful gaze.
Leicester's Jamie Vardy, QPR's Charlie Austin and the Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton have all been favoured by Hodgson in the latest 24-man squad.
England in a good place
Hodgson's England are currently comfortably placed in their Euro 2016 qualifying group. They top group E with maximum points after five matches, perhaps just as importantly they are also six points clear of Slovenia and Switzerland. After a nine-match unbeaten run, they seem in good shape to qualify for the finals in France next year with games in hand.
Handily for the man in charge, the first of the two games in June is a friendly against the Republic of Ireland. He may well feel a strong temptation to introduce the new faces into his side either from the start or more likely from the bench. A week later they face what could be the toughest remaining game of the group stages, away to Slovenia. Hodgson will want to know who he can turn to by then out of his new recruits.
The new men.
Vardy has been one of the men responsible for Leicester's recovery and successful battle against Premier League relegation in recent weeks. His pace and direct approach have yielded him four goals and caused countless problems for opposition defences during the season. He also gives hope to many lower and non-league players, having only moved to the 'Foxes' in 2012 from Fleetwood Town.
Austin has been one of the in-form strikers this season in the top English league, despite his side being relegated back to the Championship. His 17 goals will have attracted the admiring glances of many other clubs no doubt, but it will have been his sharp predatory instincts in front of goal that will have impressed Hodgson and his staff. Goals against top teams such as Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea in the league will have aided his cause.
Heaton has worked his way through the England ranks, having played from Under-16s through to Under-21s and has clearly been destined for a full senior cap for some time now. He has shown solidity within a struggling Burnley side, who were also relegated this season.
England's upcoming matches are:
ROI v England (June 7th)
Slovenia v England (June 14th) #Football