Foreign players can help England, says Hodgson

“Some of our players will be selected from the bench at club level, which would have been unthinkable five or 10 years ago,” Hodgson told reporters before Wednesday night’s friendly with Norway at Wembley Stadium.

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“But if they are chosen and involved, then it can be advantageous for our players and very helpful for England.”

The standard in the Premier League had made the country a magnet for world-class players, added Hodgson, whose team travel to Switzerland – a country he used to coach – for their first Euro 2016 qualification match next Monday.

He said England striker Danny Welbeck’s move from Manchester United to Arsenal for 16 million pounds on Monday was a bonus for the player.

“I’m pleased for him. There is enormous competition for places and he is now at a club where he may get more starts,” he said.

Hodgson was also upbeat about the young talent available to England, despite the disappointment of a poor World Cup in Brazil this year.

“I get the feeling the players can’t wait to kick off this new campaign with a difficult game on Wednesday,” he said.

“It’s a team that contains a lot of talent and I think one with enormous potential.”

There is media speculation that the crowd for Wednesday’s match may be well down on recent matches but new England captain Wayne Rooney said he was grateful for the fans’ support after the disappointing showing in Brazil.

Manchester United striker Rooney took over the armband after the retirement of Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard.

“There is no point looking back,” Rooney said. “We have young players coming through and it is exciting times. We need these young players to bring back good form to England.

“Last summer we were all very disappointed. We went into the tournament with high hopes but unfortunately it didn’t happen.”

(Reporting by Tony Goodson, Editing by Neville Dalton)