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Allardyce confirms Joe Hart will be in his first England squad

Joe Hart

Joe Hart, Manchester City FC


Even if Joe Hart has lost his place as Manchester City’s first-choice goalkeeper he still remains in Sam Allardyce’s plans for the Three Lions.

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Hart, 29, has started on the bench in City’s opening three games of the new season after Pep Guardiola preferred Willy Caballero to him.

The main reason Guardiola has given is that Caballero is better with his feet, something he expects from his goalkeeper and it is certainly not an area Hart excels in. With reports suggesting that Claudio Bravo could be arriving from Barcelona as City’s top goalkeeper, Hart has been linked with a switch to Everton and Sevilla and Guardiola has stated he is free to leave.

Despite a rough few weeks, and months if you count his mishap in England’s loss to Iceland at EURO 2016, for Hart, his new manager on the international seems set to stick by him.

Speaking to Sky Sports from England’s training HQ at St George’s Park, Allardyce confirmed that Hart would be in his first-ever England squad when they face Slovakia away on Sept. 4 in a 2018 World Cup qualifier.

“I think so. He’d be in the squad definitely but I won’t know what we’re going to do until I speak to Joe and that will be the same for most of the players,” Allardyce said. “I want to know what frame of mind they’re in and make the right selection for Slovakia away.”

The squad will be named on Aug. 28 and Allardyce didn’t confirm whether or not Wayne Rooney would still be England’s captain but he did praise the Manchester United skipper who is England’s all-time leading goalscorer.

When it comes to Hart and England’s goalkeepers, Allardyce has plenty of options. Fraser Forster, Jack Butland and Tom Heaton are waiting in the wings and Forster seems the most likely to step in if Allardyce believes Hart’s lack of match action for Man City will hinder his performances for England.

Butland and Heaton are both promising goalkeepers with the former having a standout season for Stoke City in 2015-16 but currently out injured after suffering a small reaction to the nasty ankle injury he suffered when playing for England against Germany in a friendly last March.

These words of encouragement from Allardyce will be welcomed by Hart at this difficult time as he ponders his future at the Etihad after being at City for the last 10 years.

Follow @JPW_NBCSports