Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Rapid Rise of Young Cats Star Could Lead to Call-Up

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Rapid Rise of Young Cats Star Could Lead to Call-Up

Article excerpt

Byline: Luke Edwards

JORDAN Henderson's rapid rise at Sunderland could lead to a first England call up when Fabio Capello names his squad for a friendly against France next month.

Although regional attention has focused on the international claims of Newcastle striker Andy Carroll, Bruce has been told it is Henderson who has caught the eye of the England manager.

Unlike Carroll, Henderson played for the Under-21s in their successful European Championship play-off against Romania earlier this week and the 20-year-old was hugely impressive in front of the watching Italian.

Bruce has never tried to hide his admiration for the Academy graduate, who only made his debut for the Under-21s back in August, and he argued last month that his progress was being ignored at national level. That appears to be about to change as Henderson, an automatic starter for the Black Cats in the centre of midfield this season, thrusts himself into the spotlight despite the lack of media attention on him.

Bruce said: "His performance for England Under-21s was absolutely fantastic by all accounts and I believe Capello was there. I've read in the national Press that he's going to bring one forward for the France game, and apparently the London boys are saying it's him. I don't know if that's true, but it wouldn't surprise me."

Henderson scored in the 2-1 win over Romania at Carrow Road and has impressed Capello will his powerful performances against Arsenal and Manchester United at the Stadium of Light.

Despite the sudden outbreak of hype surrounding his protege, Bruce has no worries about the attention going to Henderson's head as he has only ever been interested in playing football, not the fame and fortune that goes with it.

Bruce said: "He's absolutely completely devoted to football and I hope he stays that way. …

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