Johnson plays down England talk
Adam Johnson has played down talk of a World Cup call-up despite Fabio Capello admitting his interest.
Last Updated: 15/04/10 2:43pm
Adam Johnson has played down talk of earning a World Cup call-up for England - even though Fabio Capello has admitted his interest.
The 22-year-old winger has made an immediate impact at Manchester City since his £7million move from Middlesbrough in the transfer window.
Some suggested the former Under-21 international could force his way into consideration for the senior squad in time for this summer's World Cup.
And although England boss Capello has revealed he has been impressed by Johnson's recent form, the left-footed youngster is trying not to let the World Cup talk affect his game.
"I was playing in the Championship in January and now people are talking about me playing for England," Johnson said.
"It's nice hearing it but I'm still young. I just want to push on and try to be the best player I can be.
"You've got to keep your feet on the ground and not get too carried away."
England have long been short of options on the left of midfield and Johnson was touted as a potential international after coming through Middlesbrough's academy.
Johnson was thought to be an out-and-out left winger but has shown at City that he can also operate effectively from the right wing.
Capello is set to name his provisional 30-man squad for the World Cup on 16th May and he has already been deprived of former captain David Beckham through injury.
Aaron Lennon is battling to regain full fitness and with Theo Walcott and Johnson's City team-mate Shaun Wright-Phillips not on top form, the door has opened for the youngster to earn a surprise call-up.
Should Johnson get a call-up then Middlesbrough will receive a £1m payment from City - and a further £1m if he is capped at senior level - as part of the deal struck to secure his move to Eastlands just 10 weeks ago.
Johnson caught the eye of City boss Robert Mancini by scoring 11 goals in 26 Championship games earlier this season for Boro, who are hoping to make an immediate return to the Premier League.
"Adam gave us a lot of goals and a lot of assists, but there was a danger we were becoming a one-man team," Boro boss Gordon Strachan told the Evening Gazette.
"I felt that we needed to become a more rounded team if we were going to move forward as a club, so it was a very reluctant sale, even if the money on offer was very good.
"It was a great opportunity for Adam and it was a chance for Middlesbrough to use the money to make us a more rounded team."
Strachan brought in Scott McDonald, Barry Robson, Willo Flood, Chris Killen and Lee Miller, as well as loanees Stephen McManus and Kyle Naughton, as he attempted to rebuild his squad in January.