Merson picks surprise name for England’s World Cup squad

Former England attacker Paul Merson has told Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate to select West Ham United’s Andy Carroll for the 2018 World Cup.

England booked their spot in next summer’s tournament courtesy of a 1-0 win over Slovenia in their penultimate qualification match on Thursday night.

Merson has picked the 23-man squad that he feels should travel to Russia, and there are a couple of surprise names in the selection.

The former 21-time England international has said that Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy and Marcus Rashford should travel as three of the forward options, and has packed Carroll as the fourth over the likes of Danny Welbeck, Daniel Sturridge and Jermain Defoe.

Carroll has only just returned to action following another lay-off, but Merson has claimed that the 28-year-old would provide England with a different option next summer.

Merson told Sky Sports:

“My first three picks pick themselves, but my fourth will surprise a few. Mark my words, we will not pass a team off the pitch at the World Cup so we need someone who provides a different option, and that’s where Carroll comes in.

“If we’re chasing the game we can pump the ball up to Carroll and there will be drama, trust me.”

Carroll has scored twice in nine appearances for England, but has not represented his national team since 2012.