Bundesliga star backed for England call-up

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Former-Chelsea defender Michael Mancienne has been backed for a shock England call-up.

The ex-England youth international swapped the Premier League for the Bundesliga last year when he joined Hamburg from Chelsea for a fee in the region of £1.75m.

And the 24-year-old has quickly settled into life in Germany, establishing himself in the heart of Hamburg's defence.

So well in fact, that Hamburg sporting director Frank Arnesen believes Mancienne should be in line for a call-up to Roy Hodgson's England squad.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror: "If I was the coach then I would definitely look at him, absolutely. He could be a good shout for the squad as he can play right-back and centre-back. He has been outstanding."

Hodgson finds himself short of options in defence following John Terry's international retirement. England coach Gary Neville revealed earlier this week Manchester United Rio Ferdinand is unlikely to be considered, leaving Joleon Lescott, Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka as recognised centre-backs.

And England's first-choice right-back Glen Johnson is suspended for the Three Lion's next match, a home tie against San Marino next Friday.

So Mancienne's versatility could stand him in good stead, and Arnesen thinks his European experience in the Premier League gives him an added advantage.

"I think the Bundesliga is as tough as, or tougher than, the Premier League because the rhythm of the league is very high and it's physically tough," said Arnesen.

"He has learnt so much from coming here. Not many English players go abroad but he's improved through doing it. He's developed as a player and as a person."

Hamburg have started the season in middling form, and currently lie 10th in the Bundesliga. Mancienne came through the Chelsea academy but only made four league appearances for the Blues before he left Stamford Bridge.

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