Pearce backs under-fire West Ham United star

West Ham United assistant manager Stuart Pearce has tipped Joe Hart to be a part of the England squad that travels to the 2018 World Cup.

Hart has been included in the England squad for the upcoming international friendlies against Netherlands and Italy.

That said, the 30-year-old will face intense competition from the likes of Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope for the gloves at this summer’s tournament in Russia.

Hart is currently on loan at West Ham from Manchester City, and the stopper’s form has been questioned throughout the 2017-18 campaign.

Pearce has watched Hart at close quarters this season, and the former England international has tipped the under-fire goalkeeper to make Gareth Southgate’s tournament squad.

Pearce told talkSPORT:

“Gareth Southgate knows exactly what sort of goalkeeper Joe is and what his worth is to a squad as well.

“Joe Hart has a wealth of experience, he’s a fantastic age for a goalkeeper. Gareth will decide who he’s going to take and form will dictate that, who’s playing well for their clubs.

“But he will look at who has got some sort of CV as well. Gareth will know the worth of having Joe in the squad as a personal as well as a goalkeeper.”

Hart has conceded 33 times in 15 Premier League appearances for West Ham this season – including three at home to Burnley last time out, and his performance was heavily criticised by the Hammers fans after that clash.

Southgate claimed last week that he had not yet decided who would be his starting goalkeeper for this summer’s tournament in Russia.