Tottenham Hotspur boss Harry Redknapp has heaped praise on midfielder Scott Parker and admits he’s delighted to see the 31-year-old get his rewards at international level.
The former Charlton Athletic, Chelsea and West Ham United star broke into the national side on a regular basis under Fabio Capello after the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, replicating his club form for the Three Lions on a consistent basis.
Having switched Upton Park for White Hart Lane last summer, Spurs fans have seen the very best of Parker at the heart of the midfield in north London, and Redknapp is confident he can do a similar job for the national team.
"It's only been the last couple of years that [Parker] has been given the opportunity to play at international level, and he's grabbed it with both hands," the Spurs manager told Sky Sports News.
"He now looks an established player for England. He's had a great season at Tottenham, he was a fantastic signing for us. The job he did was amazing, the fans love him.
"He gets after the ball, he wins it, he closes people down, he shuts off passing avenues for the opposition, he's an all-round midfield player. The one thing he doesn't do is score goals, but he plays a more holding role.”
With just three days to go until England’s opening match against France, Redknapp believes it’s a midfield combination of Parker and Gerrard that could be key to success in Poland and Ukraine.
After Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry were ruled out through injury, Roy Hodgson’s options in the centre of the park dramatically shrunk, but the former Portsmouth boss believes England have two great players in the position who can complement each other well.
"I think he will complement Steven Gerrard well because Steven likes to burst forward at times and Scott will hold in there and protect,” added Redknapp.
"When England beat Spain at Wembley, we were under the cosh for most of the game but Spain didn't create too many chances even though they had a lot of the ball, and Scott was instrumental in front of our back four, shutting people down and closing balls into front men.
"He will do that job for us. He brings a strong base to the team. I think Scott and Steven Gerrard are going to be massive, they are going to be key."
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