LONDON (AFP) - Tottenham Hotspur breakthrough star Harry Kane has proved that he is ready to make the step up to international football, England manager Roy Hodgson declared on Thursday.
Kane, 21, has taken English football by storm this season with 23 goals in 35 appearances, including a pair of stunning braces in Spurs' recent victories over Chelsea and Arsenal.
Hodgson will not name his next squad for over a month, but he has already seen enough of Kane and uncapped Burnley striker Danny Ings to know that they deserve a chance with the national team.
"Is (Kane) worth a place in the squad now? Of course he is," Hodgson told journalists at a London hotel. "We brought a lot of young players in during my time. We had Saido Berahino in the last squad. Harry certainly deserves a place in the squad as much as, say, Saido did."
Expanding on Kane's strengths, Hodgson added: "Really, he combines everything that you're looking for in a centre-forward. Sometimes we've had to split centre-forwards up - this one is a target (man) who doesn't run behind (the defence); this one runs behind, but he's not much of a target. With Harry, and with Ings, you've got the best of both worlds because both do both jobs."
With Daniel Sturridge back in the Liverpool team after months on the sidelines through injury and his club-mate Raheem Sterling also in good form, Hodgson has a wealth of attacking options at his disposal.
One potential option open to him would be to withdraw Rooney, his captain, into midfield, where he has been playing of late for Manchester United, but Hodgson said that he still thinks of the 29-year-old, who is England's third-highest all-time scorer with 46 goals, as a forward.
"Wayne's the sort of player, he can play anywhere," he said. "We'll only use him in the position that suits our team and I don't know that will be centre midfield. At the moment I don't necessarily think that will be his best position for us and I don't have any immediate plans to play him there. But who knows? I will never say never."
England host Lithuania in their next Euro 2016 qualifying match on March 27, before tackling Italy in a friendly in Turin four days later.