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Wilkins urges John Terry talks over ending defender’s England exile

John Terry in action for England in 2009. Photo: Sean Dempsey/PA John Terry in action for England in 2009. Photo: Sean Dempsey/PA

Sunday, October 20, 2013
1:59 PM

Former England midfielder Ray Wilkins believes John terry’s “superb” club form merits an international recall.

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Terry, 32, won 78 caps but quit the international stage in September 2012 in the wake of the racism row involving Anton Ferdinand.

However, Wilkins believes Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson must consider asking the Chelsea skipper to return from his self-imposed exile ahead of next year’s World Cup in Brazil.

Wilkins told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Sportsweek programme: “Gary Cahill hasn’t been in the starting XI for Chelsea and I think Jose [Mourinho] prefers David Luiz and John Terry, who I must say if Roy could have a little chat with [him he should, because] he was absolutely superb yesterday against Cardiff.

“I don’t think we are blessed with too many centre-halves and if we could persuade John to have another go at [playing for England we should, because] he was superb yesterday.

“I have no idea [if he would be interested in an England return] because I haven’t had the conversation with him. But it certainly would be one I’d be having if I was the England manager.

“I have absolutely no idea how it ended with him in the dressing room. I’ve never had the conversation with John. But all I can say is his reading of the game was absolutely superb yesterday.”

Terry retired from the national side after claiming his position had become “untenable” when the Football Association decided to pursue racism charges against him following the Ferdinand incident.

He was cleared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court of racially abusing Ferdinand during a Premier League game in October 2011 but was later banned for four matches.

Terry’s final appearance for England was the 5-0 World Cup qualifying win away to Moldova 13 months ago.

He made just 11 Premier League starts last season but has been involved in all seven top-flight games since Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge in the summer and was impressive as Chelsea beat Cardiff 4-1 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

However, the FA’s director Of football development Trevor Brooking suggested Hodgson is more likely to turn to younger options.

Also speaking on Sportsweek, he said: “At the time, everyone assumed it was case closed. But you look at Phil [Jagielka] and Gary [Cahill], they have been the pairing for the last half a dozen games. Probably one player who has still to come back in is Phil Jones at Manchester United.

“I can remember him and Chris Smalling being outstanding [in the centre of defence] in the under-21 tournament a few years ago but both those two have suffered injuries.

“But I think they will probably get their chance in the next two or three get-togethers in central defence to see if they can really make a bid to be one of those starting two. Probably they would get the first opportunity.

“With all the other options that Roy has got, [deciding not to recall Terry] will probably be his decision.”

Hodgson was asked this week whether Terry could force their way back into his World Cup plans.

“I like John Terry, he did a fantastic job for me at the Euros,” Hodgson told BBC Radio 5 live. “But it’s not the moment to start resurrecting that.”

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