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Hodgson on Wan-Bissaka and England

8 March 2019

Due to the phenomenal past year Palace defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka has enjoyed, many have been linking him with a call-up to the England first-team squad as Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate prepares to select his squad.

Wan-Bissaka is eligible to play for England or Democratic Republic of Congo, both of which he has represented at Under-20 level. For England, he has also played for the Under-21s.

Palace manager Roy Hodgson was asked about his thoughts on a potential call-up for the eye-catching right-back, and he responded by saying that he and everyone else involved with the club would be pleased should he earn one, but that he believes Southgate will make his own decisions astutely in the national interest.

Hodgson said the following: "He was born and brought up here in England. He’s got liaison through his parents with Congo. But 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.

"I expect Gareth Southgate to name the squad that he wants to name, 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.

"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."

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