Former England and Liverpool hero Michael Owen believes that Roy Hodgson should take Everton’s Ross Barkley to the World Cup.

The Merseyside-born youngster has been one of the Three Lions’ brightest talents this season after emerging as a first-team regular at Goodison Park under Roberto Martinez.

Barkley has earned three caps since his international debut last year, but despite his form he is far from certain to make the final squad for England’s trip to Brazil.

With the likes of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard having dominated the squad for some time, there have been suggestions that Hodgson may stick with experienced stars to get his side through the competition, which has been further backed up by his loyalty to Ashley Cole.

Owen feels that the 20-year-old Barkley in particular should be in the 23-man unit due to his physicality and energy:

“I’d be keen to push players like Ross Barkley, I think what we’ve got to make sure we have in Brazil is legs,” he told the Daily Star.

“It’s going to be hot, some games are going to be at altitude and with matches coming thick and fast you have to be able to run.

“In this day and age maybe we haven’t got as good players technically as Brazil and Spain, so we need to run as much if not more, than any other team that is better then us, and for that you need players that have got the stamina.

“I’d be keen to push the likes of Ross Barkley, and if there was a 50/50 between two players, I’d be looking at the player that has got the legs.”

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