Everton midfielder Leon OsmanEngland new boy Leon Osman believes that Steven Gerrard thoroughly deserves to earn his 100th cap during Wednesday’s friendly with Sweden.

The 32-year-old Everton midfielder will be making his first appearance with the Three Lions, following a shock call up from manager Roy Hodgson.

Although they are inter-city rivals in the Premier League, Osman has hailed the influence of Gerrard and his importance on the pitch:

“It is fantastic to get to 100 caps,” He told BBC Sport.

“There is only a select band that has managed to do it and Steven deserves to be in that crew.

“He is a fantastic player and a leader of men.

“We first played against each other on Merseyside when we were 12 or 13.

“To see him now get to his 100th cap is fantastic but not surprising.”

Osman is also delighted to be in the squad, and admitted that he thought the call to represent his nation would never come:

“I hoped my time hadn’t passed me by,

“As an English lad I had a desire to play for my country and I was hopeful it might happen.

“I had stopped looking for my name in the squad every time. But I didn’t give up hope.”

Osman has been in fine form for high-flying Everton this season, notching up a succession of impressive performances in domestic competition.

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