Liverpool striker Andy Carroll, who was given little chance of being selected for the England squad going to the summer's 2012 European Championships, may in fact lead the country's forward line against France in Poland and Ukraine, after he impressed manager Roy Hodgson, according to a report in the Independent.
The 23 year old forward has been in better form recently, compared to his poor performances at the start of the season, was apparently in good touch in training on Thursday, with some good finishes, quick reactions and powerful accurate shooting. Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott, who was training with Carroll, feels the 23 year old is ready for international football.
"Andy Carroll is a threat in any game. It's nice to see him getting the media coverage and the high praise he deserves over the last few weeks of the season. I'm sure his confidence is high going into the tournament," Lescott was quoted by the Telegraph as saying.
"He has great ability, it's not just in the air. International football is not just about that aerial threat but not many teams have that presence in the air and he brings that to the squad," the Daily Mail reported Lescott as saying.
"He's had a good finish, been called into the squad for a major tournament so if his confidence is not high for something like this, there's not a lot it will be high for. So you'd like to think after his last couple of games and getting called up, this is the best he's felt about himself," added Lescott, according to The Sun.
Now, with Wayne Rooney suspended and Danny Welbeck still struggling with his fitness, Carroll seems to have got himself an automatic promotion. Although Carroll has made only three appearances for England till date, Hodgson is all set to see him in action during England's international friendly against Norway in Oslo on 26 May. Hodgson also has the option of selecting Jermain Defoe, who has made 46 appearances for national side but the Tottenham striker has not featured in the last 15 England games and also Spurs' boss Harry Redknapp has not made much use of the 29 year old forward this season.
It now seems like Carroll has a very good chance of leading England's strike force in the forthcoming Euros provided he plays with the same energy and enthusiasm he demonstrated after coming on as a substitute during Liverpool's FA Cup final clash against Chelsea. Although the Reds lost the FA Cup final to the Blues, Carroll showed great skill and temperament, scoring a goal and threatening to score another during that game.