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Grant Holt deserves England chance, says Martin Keown

Holt's more than a target man and deserves his England chance

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 6 May 2012

Wayne Rooney is the only Englishman to score more Premier League goals than Grant Holt’s 14 this season and the Norwich striker showed again against Arsenal why he needs to be taken seriously.

It is an unfair misconception that he is just a target man – he offers much more – and if I were Roy Hodgson, I would take a look at him in the two friendlies ahead of Euro 2012.

He has really good imagination in his finishing. At Everton, he backheeled his way out of a tight situation and Lionel Messi would have been proud of his chipped finish against Wolves.

Cloud nine: Grant Holt has been nothing short of a revelation for Norwich City

Cloud nine: Grant Holt has been nothing short of a revelation for Norwich City

HODGSON'S HOTSHOTS

Premier League goals: W Rooney 26, G Holt 14, D Graham 11, D Sturridge 11, P Crouch 10, J Defoe 10, D Bent 9, D Welbeck 9, T Walcott 8.

Doing it again and again: Holt has scored against Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Everton, Chelsea and Newcastle

Doing it again and again: Holt has scored against Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Everton, Chelsea and Newcastle

He produces pieces of individual skill that would receive heaps of praise if he was someone more high profile. He shows excellent composure time and time again and has scored against Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Everton, Chelsea and Newcastle.

He’s not all blood and thunder, either — there is a level of intelligence and he uses his body very well like Alan Shearer or Didier Drogba.

Norwich play to his strengths and are always looking to get the ball to him. He does for them what Drogba does for Chelsea. The midfielders know he is going to hold on to the ball so they make runs beyond him. He’s actually got a turn of pace and can run the channels and put crosses in.

England are fairly thin on the ground up front so I would be willing to gamble on him.

Hodgson likes a target man – look how Bobby Zamora flourished under him at Fulham – and he might be tempted. It will take a degree of bravery, though, as some people will ridicule him for picking Holt, claiming he is one-dimensional and prone to giving away fouls.

But don’t forget that Holt has found a way to be successful at every level he’s played and is smart enough to know he’d need to be a bit more careful in international football. John Ruddy has also impressed all season and can be the third keeper in the squad.