Walcott tips new stars to shine

03 September 2013 07:46

Theo Walcott has tipped the newest crop of England talent to make a name for themselves this week - just as he did five years ago against Croatia.

Two years after being included in England's 2006 World Cup squad, Walcott scored a stunning hat-trick against the Croatians on what was just his second international start.

With Roy Hodgson's men currently struggling to qualify for the World Cup, the euphoria that surrounded the England camp following that night in Zagreb is severely lacking.

Hodgson's admission that he has a small pool of international class players to choose from has only dampened the expectation around the national team as they head in to the crucial upcoming qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine.

But with the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Ross Barkley and Andros Townsend joining up with the squad following impressive performances for their clubs, Walcott is convinced that one of the younger members of the squad can pull a bit of magic out of the bag in the coming week.

"I came in at such a young age and I got a hat-trick against Croatia - anyone could do that against Moldova and Ukraine," the Arsenal winger said.

"There are chances there to be taken. If you're good enough the manager is going to pick you. There's a good balance in the team now and that has started to show at Wembley. It's only going to be positive when you see these youngsters coming through.

"These guys are improving and they are playing really well for their clubs.

"You want to see the best young talents come through very early and they will only improve."

England should have little trouble swatting aside Moldova, who are ranked 123rd in the world, at Wembley on Friday, but the same cannot be said for the match in Kiev four days later.

Source: PA