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Gianfranco Zola Tips James Tomkins For A Place In England's World Cup Squad

The Italian feels his young central defender is almost ready for the biggest stage in world football...

16 May 2009 13:44:25

EPL: James Tomkins, West Ham United -

[url=http://www.goal.com/en/teams/england/374/west-ham]West Ham United manager [url=http://www.goal.com/en/people/italy/1962/gianfranco-zola]Gianfranco Zola believes that young central defender [url=http://www.goal.com/en/people/england/21195/james-tomkins]James Tomkins is good enough to be included in the squad for the [url=http://www.goal.com/en/news/1863/world-cup-news]World Cup in next year, should [url=http://www.goal.com/en/teams/england/16/england]England make the finals.

The 20-year-old defender has been given a good run of games in the first team for the Hammers this season and has been widely touted as the future of the clubs defence.

This accolade has been given more credence by Zola's incredible claim that he is good enough to become an international player as early as next season.

, Zola said, "I trust him as a player.

"Whether he will be at the World Cup or not, depends on how he progresses. He has to be consistent.

"Other than that, he has all the primary qualities."

The Hammers central defender has made just one England Under-20 appearance to date, and is thought to be on the shopping list of a number of top clubs in the summer transfer window.

The Basildon-born player has been at Upton Park his whole career, making 17 Premier League starts for the first team, scoring just once, and has helped the club challenge for a Europa League spot this season.

Nick Turner, Goal.com

Wish we could of kept him

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