Hodgson: Loftus-Cheek should go to World Cup

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson believes Ruben Loftus-Cheek should be included in England’s squad for the World Cup.

The midfielder has impressed for Palace while on loan from Chelsea this season and has made a strong return from injury.

And former England boss Hodgson believes his successor Gareth Southgate should take Loftus-Cheek to the tournament in Russia.

Speaking at a media conference on Friday, Hodgson said: “I don’t wish to suggest anybody to Gareth Southgate, because it’s his decision alone, and I don’t want to be seen to be pushing any player towards him.

“(But) if it was a much more specific question; if it was me selecting the squad, would I find a place for him in the squad? I would.”

Hodgson also shrugged off speculation over the future of Palace star Wilfried Zaha.

The Eagles winger is one of a host of players Chelsea have been linked with ahead of the summer transfer window.

Hodgson said: “This is where he belongs. This is his club. He knows how much we and the fans value him.

“I don’t blame other clubs for coveting him. He is ours and I still believe he will be when the season begins.”