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The Everton goalkeeper praised his team-mate as the 31-year-old has been given the nod at international level, and has described him as "one of the greatest guys to be around"

Tim Howard expressed his delight at Everton team mate Leon Osman's call-up to the England squad for the friendly against Sweden, and suggested he has fully earned it.

The 31-year-old midfielder has been in fine form for the Toffees this season with two league goals as David Moyes' side sit fourth in the Premier League table after 11 games, and recently scored in the 2-2 derby draw with Liverpool.

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And the Toffees goalkeeper believes a first cap for his country is no more than Osman deserves after being "a rock" for the Merseyside club for such a long time.

"This could be a blanket statement for the whole team but I don't think I've been more excited for a human being than I was for Ossie," he told reporters.

"You're talking about one of the greatest guys to be around, a guy who's hard-working and so deserving of that call-up."

Howard - who has won 82 caps for USA - feels Osman is even more deserving of a cap due to the number of players who have not made the grade for the England national team in the past.

He continued: "Fingers crossed he gets an England cap because there have been a heck of a lot less deserving guys down the years to get caps.

"He's just so fantastic and he's been a rock for this club. I was delighted for him; so, so happy."

If he plays, the 31-year-old will become the third oldest debutant for England since 1954 behind Steve Bould and Kevin Davies.

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