Jadon Sancho is ready to shine for England after surprise call-up, insists Everton forward Theo Walcott

The 18-year-old is one of six uncapped players named in Gareth Southgate's latest squad

Tuesday 09 October 2018 07:33 BST
Gareth Southgate calls for Sancho, Mount and Maddison in England squad

Theo Walcott has backed Jadon Sancho to thrive with England after his shock selection in Gareth Southgate's latest squad.

Borussia Dortmund forward Sancho, 18, has been called up for Uefa Nations League games in Croatia on Friday and Spain on Monday.

He has started just once in the Bundesliga for Dortmund this season but has registered six assists - three more than any other player in the division - and scored once.

Everton winger Walcott was just 17 when he was a surprise pick for the 2006 World Cup, having not made a senior appearance for Arsenal at the time.

And despite his own experience - he did not make it onto the pitch in Germany - Walcott believes Sancho is ready to perform.

"He can deal with it, he's been in the Dortmund dressing room, he's played at their stadium which is fantastic. He won't be fazed at all," said Walcott, who has 47 England caps.

Sancho has never even been capped by England at U21 level

"It's completely different now, there are a lot of young players in that group. When I came through there was Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard - completely established players in the team - so it's a different environment I would say.

"Of course it's still daunting but when you get down on the field and play football that's all you want to do, you just want to play, it doesn't matter who it's for.

"You just want to go out there and do your best and I'm sure everyone will. The young players with England is fantastic to see and they've just got to take their chances. Good luck to them all."

Walcott has not played for England since November 2016 and confirmed he did not speak to Southgate before his squad was announced last week.

He helped Everton to a 2-1 win at Leicester on Saturday as the Toffees moved into the Premier League's top half.

"We did play some good stuff in the first half, not quite finishing it off in the second half," he added.

"We have worked really hard after the disappointment [of losing to Southampton in the EFL Cup] so to come back get three points is great. It's 12 points now going into the international break, yeah, we're on the way up."

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