Rio Ferdinand will be welcomed back into the fold
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain says that Rio Ferdinand will be welcomed back into the England squad in the future.
The Manchester United defender withdrew from the Three Lions’ set-up for their up-coming World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro due to having a pre-planned training schedule in place to help him recover from a series of back injuries.
It is believed he is keen to maintain his level of fitness and has been granted permission to withdraw, with Tottenham’s Steven Caulker his replacement.
The news came after manager Roy Hodgson made a dramatic U-turn to bring back the 34-year-old, a player he once thought to have no international future.
Some have suggested that Ferdinand may get a frosty reception if he ever receives another call-up, but Oxlade-Chamberain believes the veteran will be welcomed back by the entire squad:
“I do not think there is any reason why he should not,” he responded when asked by Sky Sports if he sees Ferdinand returning to the England set-up.
“He is an amazing player and has been for so many years.
“But, obviously, it is not for me to say. I am not the manager. But, for me, Rio is an amazing player and would be a great asset to the squad.”
However, the Arsenal youngster believes that England will be able to cope without Ferdinand and says that there are a number of top quality replacements ready to step in:
“But the players that will come in and the players in the squad are more than capable to do the role and fill in with good quality and good experience.”
Ferdinand has previously claimed that he would never turn his back on his country, making his latest actions a shock.
Hodgson dropped the ex-Leeds man from his EURO 2012 squad for footballing reasons.
However, many speculated that his actions were due to John Terry’s inclusion, despite allegations of racial abuse against Rio’s brother, Anton Ferdinand.