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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Phil Neville: Chelsea's Eni Aluko could earn England Women recall

Chelsea and England striker Eni Aluko
Eni Aluko will be considered if she is playing well, Phil Neville has said.

Phil Neville has said Chelsea striker Eni Aluko, who has not played for the England women's national team since she accused former manager Mark Samson of racial abuse, could earn a recall to the side.

Neville told The Telegraph he was beginning his time in charge with "a clean slate" and would not rule out any player.

The coach said he had spoken to Aluko, who is not currently featuring regularly for her club.

"I met her at a game," he said. "In terms of being selected for the squad, she's not played for Chelsea regularly.

"If she starts scoring goals and is playing well, then she is no different to anyone else.

"Ultimately for me, if she is playing well and she's scoring goals, she will be considered. It is as simple as that."

Neville has picked 31-year-old Aluko's club colleague Anita Asante in his squad for the SheBelieves Cup, with the defender not having played for England since 2015.

Assante supported Aluko over her claims about Sampson, who was sacked for "inappropriate" relationships with players in his previous job.

Neville said: "She wants to be playing, and I spoke to other players in the team and she is a very popular figure.

"It's a clean slate, and everyone is delighted."

Meanwile, England captain Steph Houghton will miss the first three matches of Neville's reign after being ruled out of the SheBelieves Cup in the United States.

Centre-back Houghton has an ankle problem, while vice-captain Jordan Nobbs and midfielder Karen Carney are also out, with knee and ankle injuries respectively.

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