Aaron Cresswell believes a rich run of form for West Ham could hand striker Andy Carroll a place in England’s World Cup squad next summer.
Hammers left-back Cresswell, who made his first Three Lions start in Sunday’s 1-0 win in Lithuania, reckons Carroll has all the qualities to tempt boss Gareth Southgate in to giving him a berth for the Russia tournament, if he he can stay fit.
Injury-prone Carroll is poised to lead the line for Slaven Bilic’s charges when they go to Burnley on Saturday for a Premier League clash against Sean Dyce’s in-form side.
And Cresswell says there is no reason Carroll, who won the last of his nine caps in 2012, can’t reignite his international career with a run of consistent performances. One aspect of Carroll’s game, his all-round ability in the air while leading the line, could prove particularly attractive to Southgate.
The England coach isn’t exactly blessed with options when it comes to finding the back of the net and many critics and fans see the lanky former Newcastle frontman as a credible “plan b” when it comes to attacking options.
And Cresswell said: “Of course Andy can be part of the England set-up for the World Cup. Everyone knows what Andy is capable of, especially in the air, and you could say it’s a different dimension and that different way of playing.
“If Andy stays fit between now and the end of the season, there is no reason why he can’t be in contention. Everyone wants to be pushing for that World Cup spot and all you can do it keep playing your best week in, week out and hope to make that plane.”
Meanwhile, Cresswell says he was proud to play against Lithuania and that he is keenly anticipating the forthcoming friendly matches at Wembley against Germany and Brazil in November.
He added: “To start for England was something you dream of as a little boy. I’m proud to wear the shirt and play for England.
Germany and Brazil are going to be much tougher opposition and certainly tougher games but that’s something the lads relish and look forward to.
“You want to play the best players in the world and in the next two games that’s what we want to do. Hopefully we can learn from the experience and take it into the World Cup.”