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'We would be delighted if he was called up' - Hodgson hopes Wan-Bissaka gets England nod

19:58 GMT+3 08/03/2019
Wan-Bissaka Crystal Palace
The Crystal Palace right-back has been in excellent form this season and has given Gareth Southgate a selection headache

Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been given the green light to play for England by Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson.

Hodgson believes that a call-up is just around the corner for the right-back but recognises that he operates in one of the most competitive roles in the national team, with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker all vying for the right-back slot.

Wan-Bissaka has already played for England's Under-21s, but is also eligible to represent Democratic Republic of Congo, and Hodgson expects the 21-year-old to be on Three Lions coach Gareth Southgate's radar.

"I expect Gareth Southgate to name the squad that he wants to name," the Palace boss, who was England coach from 2012 to 2016, told the club's official website.

"I expect him to have the diligence which I know he does have in terms of looking at players and assessing the players and deciding which is the right one at any moment in time.

"If Aaron gets selected for the first national team, we’ll be really pleased, of course, but I don’t intend to put any - pressure’s the wrong word - I don’t intend to make any suggestions to him in that respect.

"I work on the basis that he [Southgate] knows Aaron, he knows the other players that are competing for that place too and he’ll make the decision which suits him."

Wan-Bissaka has been impressive for Crystal Palace this season, keeping nine clean sheets and making the most tackles of any defender across Europe's top five leagues. 

Hodgson will not be disheartened if the call-up does not come this time around for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Czech Republic and Montenegro, saying he has a key role to play in the U21 team.

He added: "Basically speaking he’s been a very important part of Aidy Boothroyd’s Under-21 team for at least a couple of seasons now and has been one of the cogs which has enabled that team to qualify for the World Cup and take part this summer, something which he is really looking forward to."

"He’s a very, very good player. He’s already played for his country, he’s already played for England.

"If Aaron was to be selected for the senior team we’d be delighted but we’re equally delighted that he’s doing so well for the Under-21s. Whichever way for us, it’s a win situation."