Saido Berahino: West Brom striker named in England squad

West Brom's Saido Berahino
Berahino has scored eight goals for West Brom in all competitions this season

West Brom striker Saido Berahino has been named in the England squad for the first time by manager Roy Hodgson.

The 21-year-old could make his debut in the Euro 2016 qualifier with Slovenia at Wembley on 15 November.

Berahino, who was born in Burundi, has scored seven goals in 10 Premier League matches for the Baggies this season.

Michael Carrick, Stewart Downing and Theo Walcott are also included in a 26-man squad for the Slovenia game and friendly in Scotland on 18 November.

Manchester United midfielder Carrick was left out of Hodgson's squad for the World Cup in Brazil and has only just returned from an ankle injury he suffered in the summer.

Winger Downing, whose last cap came in May 2012, has earned a recall after impressing for West Ham this term.

Arsenal winger Theo Walcott is recalled to the squad after recovering from a knee injury that kept him out for 10 months.

Hodgson said Berahino, who has scored 10 goals in 13 England Under-21 appearances, had been in contention for the recent qualifiers against Estonia and San Marino.

"He was obviously in our minds but we didn't choose him because of the importance of the two Under-21 qualifiers against Croatia," said Hodgson.

"But this time they only have a friendly match, so there's no reason to pass over his credentials yet again."

Hodgson added there was "never a realistic possibility" of picking Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge for the squad.

Saido Berahino playing for England U21s
Berahino has scored 10 goals in 13 appearances for the England U21 side

He is suffering from a calf problem and has not played since he strained a thigh muscle just before England's clash with Switzerland in September.

"We were hoping, of course, to get him back, but it hasn't worked out," Hodgson said.

"I have left a message for [Liverpool manager] Brendan [Rodgers]. The message was that it is pretty obvious that Daniel is not fit, and Brendan's not rung back to counter that he actually is."

Club-mate Glen Johnson has been left out even though he returned to action last month following a thigh injury.

If he plays against Slovenia, Wayne Rooney will earn his 100th cap.

England are top of qualifying Group E, having won all three games. Slovenia are second, with two wins and six points.

"They have a lot of players who play for top clubs in Europe," Hodgson said. "We regard them as a very serious rival."

England squad

Goalkeepers: Fraser Forster (Southampton), Ben Foster (West Brom), Joe Hart (Manchester City).

Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Calum Chambers (Arsenal), Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton), Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), Chris Smalling (Manchester United).

Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Everton), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Stewart Downing (West Ham), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), James Milner (Manchester City, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Andros Townsend (Tottenham), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal), Theo Walcott (Arsenal).

Forwards: Rickie Lambert (Liverpool), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Welbeck (Arsenal), Saido Berahino (West Brom).

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