BURUNDI-BORN West Brom forward Saido Berahino has vowed to repay the country that gave him “a second chance in life” after being handed a first senior England call-up yesterday.
The 21-year-old, who fled the war-torn African country as a child with his family, has been included in a 26-man squad for this month’s internationals against Slovenia and Scotland.
West Ham’s Stewart Downing, Theo Walcott of Arsenal and Manchester United’s Michael Carrick have all been recalled, but Liverpool pair Daniel Sturridge and Glen Johnson are omitted.
Berahino, the leading English scorer in the Premier League this season with seven goals, said: “This country gave me a second chance in life. It has provided me and my family with a safe place, and a better place to live in. It has given me a chance to perform what I want to achieve in life.
“I feel very lucky that my family and West Bromwich Albion have looked after me and guided me. I will be very proud and honoured to represent England.” Downing’s starring role in West Ham’s start to the season sees him in line for a first cap since 2012. England host Slovenia in a Euro 2016 qualifier on Saturday 15 November and play a friendly with Scotland at Celtic Park three days later.
Goalkeepers: Forster, Foster, Hart; Defenders: Baines, Cahill, Chambers, Clyne, Gibbs, Jagielka, Shaw, Smalling; Midfielders: Barkley, Carrick, Downing, Henderson, Lallana, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sterling, Townsend, Wilshere, Walcott; Forwards: Lambert, Rooney, Welbeck, Berahino