Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers believes Jordan Henderson deserves his international recall and feels the midfielder’s versatility can help him earn a place in England’s World Cup squad.
The 23-year-old was rewarded for his fine form for Liverpool when Roy Hodgson picked him for the friendlies against Chile and Germany this month.
Henderson has won five England caps, but none since Euro 2012, when he replaced the injured Frank Lampard in the squad and made two appearances in the tournament.
While he was often omitted from the Liverpool team after Rodgers was appointed last summer, he has been an ever-present this season, whether playing right wing-back, in the middle or on the right of the midfield.
Rodgers said: “Brilliant. It’s great for the boy and I think he merits it for the start he has had to the season. Congratulations to him.
“It’s a big credit to him that I have been able to play him in a couple of positions. If you are going to a World Cup, you need players who can play in a number of positions. He can do that. He has shown this season in a wing-back role and a centre-midfield role how versatile he is.
“He always adds something. He has tremendous work rate. The supporters have really taken to him. They really appreciate what he has given. As each game goes on, he is getting better and better -- tactically he has improved, physically he is very good, he can run and run and he is gaining confidence from playing with good players as well, so he can make a lot of improvements and become a really top player.”
Meanwhile, Rodgers is confident Liverpool can welcome back Glen Johnson and Philippe Coutinho to the starting 11 against Fulham on Saturday.
Right-back Johnson missed last week’s 2-0 defeat to Arsenal with a virus while midfielder Coutinho, who had been out since September after undergoing surgery to his shoulder, made his comeback at the Emirates Stadium as a substitute.
Rodgers added: “We have Philippe Coutinho coming back who adds a real quality to our game. My history as a coach shows I love players with personality and technique and this is a player with high level of technicality and strong personality.
“So you bring him back in and Glen Johnson will be back as well. He is fine -- he has trained this week. It was just one of those things that happened [to rule him out of the Arsenal game]. Maybe if it was a day earlier he would have been able to play.”