England manager Roy Hodgson is encouraged by the competition he has in the goalkeeping position, with Southampton’s Fraser Forster having returned to his squad.
The Saints stopper was selected today for the upcoming friendly games against Germany and Netherlands, with his teammate Ryan Bertrand also included.
It marks a swift return to the national set-up for Forster following his comeback from a serious knee injury, which had kept him out of action for ten months until January of this year.
Hodgson is pleased to see the keeper, who turned 28 today, back involved with the national team, alongside Manchester City’s Joe Hart and Stoke City’s Jack Butland, believing that Hart has serious competition for the number-one shirt.
“I’m very encouraged,” he said. “I think it’s a very healthy situation we find ourselves in with goalkeepers.
“We’ve got Joe Hart, who’s had the number one shirt for the last four years and has continued to show what a fine goalkeeper he is, but younger goalkeepers like Jack and like Fraser, who four years ago actually were more or less part of our development squads, they’ve improved all the time and now they are not only bona fide contenders, they’re really knocking on the door to try and knock Joe off his perch.
"That’s good competition and it will be up to Joe to show that he’s still the number-one man and I’m sure that’s what he’ll be trying to do."