West Ham boss Slaven Bilic has stopped short of touting Andy Carroll for England’s Euro 2016 squad but he has claimed the striker is a “very special” player.
Carroll’s display on Saturday, when he terrorised Arsenal defender Gabriel to score his three goals, has seen calls from some quarters for him to be involved in England’s squad for the forthcoming European Championships.
The 26-year-old has nine England caps to his name, but he has not played for the Three Lions since October 2012 after making his debut at Wembley in November 2010 against France.
England boss Roy Hodgson is expected to name four strikers in his 23-man squad, but competition for places will be intense with Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck all hoping to get the nod.
Hodgson has until May 31 to name his England squad, but says he plans to name the 23 players he will take with him to France on Thursday, May 12.
And while Bilic again stopped short of throwing his weight behind the idea of Carroll playing for England he rates the former Newcastle man highly.
“I don’t know about the England squad,” Bilic said of Carroll.
“I said my opinion about him and it doesn’t vary to most of the football people’s opinion of Andy – when he is fit and in form he is very special and gives you something, he is different.
“It is hard to mark him and hard to cope with him. For us he has done really good everytime he is fit. He doesn’t have to score, his presence on the pitch gives us another quality and dimension.”