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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 June 2007, 11:09 GMT 12:09 UK
Pennant aims for England's right
By Martin Richardson and Dominic Cotton

Jermaine Pennant
Pennant won 24 caps for England's under-21 side

Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant believes a place on the right side of England's midfield is up for grabs.

Despite the recall of former captain David Beckham, 24-year-old Pennant thinks he should be given the chance to step up to international level.

"A lot of players have been tried on the right, but no-one's filled that gap yet," he told BBC Sport.

"I'm still young and if I can keep playing well for Liverpool I don't see why I can't get the nod one day."

Pennant will have his work cut out after Beckham's creditable display in his return to the international arena in Friday's 1-1 international friendly draw with Brazil.

But following a 6.5m move to Anfield from Birmingham City, Pennant has worked hard to claim a regular start in Rafael Benitez's side and impressed many with his performance in the Champions League final defeat to AC Milan.

"I was happy with my season," he said.

"To come from a relegation battle to play in the Champions League and come third in the Premiership, if somebody had offered me that two years ago I would have taken it all day long.

"But, for a team like Liverpool it's a disappointing season to end up with no silverware."

Benitez has voiced his intention to revamp the squad with money from the new American owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks, but Pennant does not believe there will be a huge influx of new players.

"I don't think there will be a complete change of squad, there may be a few players coming and going, but that happens at every club," he said.

"I'm an easy target (for speculation), but no-one has said anything to me about leaving.

"I'm sure I'm staying. I've got a contract for another two years and I hope I can stay for as long as possible.

"Next season I'm sure I'll improve as a player and really shine, and that will lead on to the international stage."

Pennant is also supporting the BBC's Your Game, a unique nationwide street football competition designed to provide new opportunities for young people from socially disadvantaged groups in society.

"It's a great opportunity for people who haven't really had the chance before to achieve something," he said.

"If you take it seriously, and you want to do something in football this can help you reach your potential."



SEE ALSO
England return delights Beckham
02 Jun 07 |  Internationals
McClaren salutes Beckham display
01 Jun 07 |  Internationals


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