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Three Lions lack international striking quality

Alan Hansen believes that the surprise selection of Cardiff City striker Jay Bothroyd proves that England have troublesome times ahead.

Fabio Capello has called up many young players to his squad for the friendly against France, but the inclusion of 28-year-old Bothroyd, who has netted 15 times from 16 appearances this season, has attracted the most attention.

Hansen wrote in the Daily Telegraph: "There is a dearth of talent coming through the ranks in English football and nothing highlights that more than the selection of Jay Bothroyd.

"You cannot take anything away from the Cardiff City forward because he has scored regularly this season and has clearly done something to impress Capello.

"But his selection is a major surprise and it cannot bode well for England that Capello is now having to look to the Championship for new blood.

"Bothroyd is not even somebody who could be classed as an up-and-coming youngster. At 28, he has been around for a long time and if England are now looking at 28-year-olds playing in the Championship that speaks for itself."

The ex-Liverpool defender opined that the absence of Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has highlighted a lack of striking options, with England not appearing "to have a striker who you would back to perform at the highest level", and also expressed his doubts over Kevin Davies, who made his international debut as a substitute in last month's draw with Montenegro.

Hansen said: "He has been a brilliant player for Bolton and somebody I have always rated for his ability to cause lots of problems for defenders.

"But despite my admiration for Kevin, I do not think he is international quality and he is also 33, so his selection in the last squad was already a pointer towards the problems facing Capello and his successor."

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