Rafa Benitez tips this Newcastle ace for a shock inclusion into Hodgson’s England squad

“Physically, he is fine now and has a lot of confidence in himself”

Rafael Benitez

But under Benitez, several players have rediscovered their A game, none more so than Townsend whose England prospects have been boosted by Alex Oxade-Chamberlain’s knee injury which rules him out of this summer’s tournament in France.

And Benitex rackons Townsend is the leading contender to step in, saying: “For me, yes, he can be in the squad without any problem.

“He has quality, not just with his free-kicks and the way he plays but also he works so hard, helping the team in defence.

“When you are a manager, you are always looking for players you can trust and he can make a difference .

“Physically, he is fine now and has a lot of confidence in himself.”

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