England captain ‘excited’ to have Callum Hudson-Odoi in senior squad
The pair are in the England squad for the first time for the Three Lions’ upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers with the Czech Republic and Montenegro
The Chelsea teenager was promoted from the under-21s after Luke Shaw pulled out through injury while the West Ham midfielder got his first call-up after switching allegiance from the Republic of Ireland.
They are both in the squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Montenegro.
Captain Kane said that it was a positive step to have a youngster like Hudson-Odoi in the England squad.
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“He has been great. He wants to take full advantage of his opportunities and it looked like he was enjoying it out there,” he told a press conference.
“We are excited to have him. Competition for places is huge at the moment, everyone is fighting for a spot and the youth aren’t scared to go and express themselves, try their skills and try to score goal and that is what we want.
“As an England team we want that flair and flexibility. It is a great sign in this country we are producing these type of players.”
Hudson-Odoi has limited first-team experience, playing just 199 minutes in the Premier League, but has been targeted by Bayern Munich who tried to sign him for £35million in January.
Kane, who went out on loan a number of times before he got his Tottenham breakthrough, does not have any concerns over the youngster’s lack of exposure.
“Everyone has a different path to the top. Mine was going on loan and trying to get experience there,” he added.
“Callum has had a taste of cup competition and a little bit in the Premier League and I am sure he wants to gain that experience at the highest level.
“For him and young players coming through it is vital they play and have that experience.
“Everyone knows he is a fantastic player but in football you have ups and downs and it is part of the journey.
“I have no doubt he has the ability to play at the highest level.”
West Ham midfielder Rice is another new face in Southgate’s squad.
The 20-year-old had his switch of allegiance from the Republic of Ireland, for whom he played three friendlies, confirmed by FIFA a fortnight ago.
“I’m sure it was a tough one for him. He’s enjoying the season he has been having so far,” said Kane.
“He took the time with his family and close friends and the decision he made is one he thinks will best for his future and no-one can blame him for that.
“I can tell just by being with him for a couple of days he will give everything for his country.”