Danny Drinkwater deserves his England chance, says Terry Butcher
By Michael Kelleher
Last Updated: 17/03/16 3:51pm
Danny Drinkwater is fully deserving of his call-up into England's squad by Roy Hodgson, according to former captain Terry Butcher.
The 26-year-old is set to earn his first senior international cap during the Euro 2016 warm-up games against Germany and the Netherlands at the end of this month.
His selection came at the expense of veteran Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick but Butcher believes that was the right call and feels Drinkwater has a lot to offer England's midfield.
"From a midfield position he has made more tackles than anyone else in the Premier League so he is there on merit," Butcher said, speaking on Sky Sports Today.
"He has been at the fulcrum of a lot of the Leicester attacks and also helps to stop teams from playing. He is very strong and a good long passer of the ball as well.
"If you look at other players in that midfield area, he is head and shoulders above them in terms of his passing and tackling in particular and what he can give a team.
"We will wait and see if he can progress to the next level. It is a massive leap from the Premier League up to international level but he has earned the right to be there."
In addition to Carrick, another high-profile name omitted from Hodgson's squad was Everton left back Leighton Baines, with Southampton's Ryan Bertrand and Tottenham's Danny Rose selected instead.
Baines has been hampered by an ankle injury all season and Butcher believes that is the reason for his omission but feels Hodgson will be keen to have him in the squad for the Euros this summer.
Butcher said: "There is obviously a reason [Baines] is not in the squad with his injuries. He has been in the squad for a good number of years now.
"He has had his injury problems this season and is obviously not quite right but that doesn't rule him out for the Euros.
"I'd like to think Roy has spoken to Roberto [Martinez] and they have come to some sort of agreement."
Although Butcher expects Baines to play his way back into Hodgson's good graces, he feels Bertrand is the man who will be starting for England in their opening Euro 2016 game against Russia in Marseille on June 11.
"I think Bertrand will be the starting left-back," Butcher said. "He is in pole position because he has got the jersey. But Danny Rose is in there on merit as well so that is another success story."