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Thatcher for England!

English Barclays Premiership

David Pleat is convinced Ben Thatcher can make it into Kevin Keegan's England set-up. Our director of football's comments came after he welcomed the L5m capture from Wimbledon to Spurs Lodge for the first day of pre-season training on Monday.

"England is desperately lacking in quality left-backs and left-footed players," explained Pleat.

"There are lots who have played for England in the last few years - Ball of Everton, Quinn of Sheffield United, Serrant played a few games, Briscoe at Sheffield Wednesday, Griffin at Newcastle, but there is something wrong with the selection or identification process if all these people can get caps but are now nowhere.

"I think Ben Thatcher is good enough and strong enough and if he's in Tottenham's first team and we're doing well, I think he'll go on and play for England. I mean that."

Thatcher's former Wimbledon team-mate Chris Perry, now re-united with him at White Hart Lane, was inclined to agree with Pleat.

Centre-back Perry, a L4m capture from Selhurst Park last summer, said: "If Ben does well here, gets in the team and plays well, then it will certainly do his England chances no harm.

"Looking at Euro2000 I think England were desperately short of a natural left-back and he fills that problem position. In my opinion, he is already better than what is there."

Photographs courtesy of Action Images Ltd.

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