Ryan Sessegnon has told Gareth Southgate he is ready and waiting for the chance to stake a claim for a place in England’s World Cup squad.
Fulham starlet Sessegnon has emerged as a shock contender to make a late run for a spot on the plane to Russia 2018.
The 17-year-old has been one of the outstanding players in the Championship this season to help push Fulham in contention for promotion to the top flight.
And it has been revealed the teenager is the most clinical finisher in English football when it comes to converting chances he gets.
Earlier this week, Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic gave his backing to the idea Sessegnon can set the World Cup alight this summer.
And the left-sided player said: “Who knows? Theo Walcott did it, Michael Owen did it so I could be ready.
“If I did get the call, it would be a fantastic achievement. I’ll be ready if I get the call.
“If I don’t, I’ll be cheering them on the TV hoping they do well. It is nice for the gaffer to say that about me.
“Who knows? Hopefully it will happen.”
When Owen forced his way into Glenn Hoddles squad in 1998, it was on the back of a brilliant introduction to the Premier League at Liverpool.
But Walcott earned a spot in Sven Goran Eriksson’s squad in 2002 without ever playing a minute of Premier League football.
Walcott had actually only made 13 senior appearances for Southampton at the time, but in contrast Sessegnon has been a fixture in the Fulham side for two seasons now.
He has scored 13 goals this season, eight of them in the last two months, and is making even more of an impression since being pushed forward into a more advanced role.
The teenager has long been part of the national set-up having represented England through the age groups.
And he was joint top scorer in the tournament as he helped the England under-19 side win the European Championship last summer.
With that tournament experience behind him, he would not be the complete novice should Southgate make the big call to take him to Russia.
Sessegnon added: “To win that Under-19s Euros does give you that confidence and knowing how to win a major tournament.
“If I was to get the call for Russia, I’d know something about tournament football and people say that has often been England’s problem.
“It is at a lower level but the experience of coming through a tournament successfully can only be a good thing if I get the chance to go up the age groups.”