Peter Crouch was included in Fabio Capello's latest England squad last night after impressing the manager with two goals in two games for his new club Tottenham Hotspur last week.
Crouch, who came off the bench to score the first goal in Spurs' 2-1 defeat of Birmingham City on Saturday that maintained the side's 100 per cent League record this term, started his first game for Harry Redknapp in the Carling Cup on Wednesday night, scoring in the 5-1 win at Doncaster.
Another Spurs player handed a recall to the Italian's squad ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Croatia is the flying winger Aaron Lennon. The 22-year-old offers an alternative to Theo Walcott, who has a side strain and will miss the friendly against Slovenia on Saturday followed by the World Cup qualifier against Slaven Bilic's men four days later.
Capello is keen to unleash pace on Croatia after Walcott devastated them with his speed in Zagreb earlier this year. Lennon has impressed Capello with his performances this term, scoring decisive goals in Spurs' win on Saturday and the defeat of West Ham United at Upton Park last Sunday.
"Lennon can play one-on-one and is very dangerous because he's quick," Capello said. "Potentially he is really good. He's young. He needs to understand his potential and have confidence in this potential. It's really important because some players are really good but don't understand their own potential.
"He can shoot with his left or right – he scored a goal against West Ham with his left," Capello said. "But I think he has to improve the confidence in himself. I saw the game against West Ham and he played well but we have always followed him because he has already played with us. He is a very interesting player. He is young. When a player is fit and in good form I put him in the squad. Always the quick players are really important. But not only speed, because you have to be good technically."
Capello also has David Beckham and Shaun Wright-Phillips competing for a place on the right flank. "I have a lot of choice on the right. I'm happy." the Italian added.
Soccer-England squad for Slovenia friendly and Croatia qualifier
England coach Fabio Capello named the following 24-man squad on Sunday for their friendly against Slovenia at Wembley Stadium on Sept. 5 and their World Cup Group Six qualifier against Croatia four days later:
Goalkeepers: Ben Foster (Manchester United), Robert Green (West Ham United), Paul Robinson (Blackburn Rovers)
Defenders: Wes Brown (Manchester United), Wayne Bridge (Manchester City), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Joleon Lescott (Manchester City), John Terry (Chelsea), Matthew Upson (West Ham United)
Midfielders: Gareth Barry (Manchester City), David Beckham (LA Galaxy), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Aston Villa), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Aston Villa), Aaron Lennon (Tottenham Hotspur)
Forwards: Carlton Cole (West Ham United), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur), Peter Crouch (Tottenham Hotspur), Emile Heskey (Aston Villa), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)