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Page last updated at 00:07 GMT, Monday, 8 February 2010

Harry Redknapp backs Ledley King for World Cup spot

Ledley King
King has 19 England caps and has scored once for the international side

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp says centre-back Ledley King deserves to be in England's World Cup squad despite his injury problems.

Redknapp believes King, 29, is ideal cover for John Terry and Rio Ferdinand, even though his club appearances are restricted by persistent knee troubles.

"You'd take him to the World Cup all day long - he's that good," said the Spurs boss.

King, who has 19 caps, was last called up to the England squad in March 2009.

But that decision angered Redknapp at the time, who said King could not play two games in a week. England boss Fabio Capello later allowed the defender to leave the squad, having had his medical team assess him.

Redknapp later said there was no disagreement between him and the Italian and said King could play for England if he was rested properly between games.

And the Spurs boss has re-iterated his stance that King, who has played 14 times for Spurs this season, could prove crucial to England's plans in South Africa.

Redknapp said: "He's special - that's why when he's fit, I play him.


"He's desperate to play for England. If you lose Terry or Rio, you know he's going to come in and do a job for you.

"If you are in the semi-final and you have a suspension, you can bring him in."

King, who has been made Tottenham captain again following Robbie Keane's loan move to Celtic, is unable to play matches in quick succession because of his knee problems.

Capello has said he will not take unfit players to the World Cup finals in South Africa, putting places for the likes of goalkeeper David James and Ferdinand in doubt.

However, the Italian may have to re-evaluate his stance should injury problems persist for England's centre-backs.

Ferdinand has only played nine games for his club this season because of a long-standing back problem, while Redknapp has said that Spurs defender Jonathan Woodgate could miss the rest of the season with a groin injury.

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see also
Ferguson backs captain Ferdinand
06 Feb 10 |  Man Utd
Injury curtails Woodgate's season
12 Mar 10 |  Tottenham
King has England role - Redknapp
03 Apr 09 |  Tottenham
Capello awards King shock call-up
22 Mar 09 |  Internationals
Capello hits back in King dispute
27 Mar 09 |  Tottenham

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