Begovic backs Shawcross for England call-up

The Stoke City shot-stopper has hailed his club captain and is convinced he should be part of Roy Hodgson's World Cup squad, even joking that he wished the 26-year-old was Bosnian
Asmir Begovic has backed Stoke City captain Ryan Shawcross to force his way into Roy Hodgson's England squad for the World Cup.

With Hodgson ruling out a return for John Terry to the international setup, Begovic believes the coach should give Shawcross the chance to impress.

England have plenty of options at centre-half, with Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Joleon Lescott all used in recent matches ahead of Shawcross.

20/1 Ryan Shawcross is 20/1 with William Hill to be part of England's World Cup squad
Begovic, though, is convinced his team-mate is good enough to board the plane to Brazil and is adamant that England could rely on the former Manchester United defender if called upon.

"I've been beating the drum for Ryan for a while," he told the Stoke Sentinel. "I get to train with him and play with him every week and see what kind of quality player he is.

"I don't think he would ever let England down.

"It's important to have leaders and he's been our captain for a number of years. It's someone they need to look at and make a decision.

"There's no doubt you do get overlooked if you're not playing for one of the (title-chasing) clubs.

"I wish he was Bosnian! He's a great player, and I'm sure he will get his international chance soon."

Shawcross' solitary England cap came in a 4-2 friendly defeat against Sweden in November 2012 and he has not been part of a squad since.