Southend United manager Phil Brown has backed goalkeeper Daniel Bentley to play for England after the youngster committed his future to the club.

Bentley, 20, from Wickford in Essex, will start the season in goal for the Shrimpers and put pen to paper having agreed a three-year deal.

Ex-Hull manager Brown told the Echo: “I am absolutely delighted that Daniel Bentley has signed a new contract because I truly believe this lad will go on to play for England one day.

“He’s still learning and is very young but I think you’ll see his career starting to blossom in the future.

“I don’t want to put too much pressure on the lad by saying that but that really is the kind of potential he has.”

Bentley, who was released by Arsenal, had made 10 appearances for the Roots Hall club and will be hoping to secure more senior match.

“I have to earn the right to get the shirt and then also keep it and that’s what I will be trying to achieve this season,” said the former Bromfords School pupil.

Brown will begin his first full season with the Shrimpers when they get their new campaign under way at home to Plymouth Argyle on Saturday.

The Blues will be hoping for a successful season and the ‘keeper believes improvement at home is key.

“Last year it was too easy for teams to come here and win. We need to make it much harder for them and start picking up more points at Roots Hall,” he said.

The 53-year-old took over from former boss Paul Sturrock in March earlier this year.


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