England boss Gareth Southgate has been urged to consider selecting West Ham striker Andy Carroll when he picks his next Three Lions squad.

Hammers defender James Collins insists Carroll, overlooked by England for the past four years, is in fine form and ready to replicate his West Ham goalscoring prowess on the international stage.

Former Newcastle and Liverpool forward Carroll, 28, has scored six goals in 16 appearances this season for Slaven Bilic’s outfit, and Collins believes the lanky frontman has a style which can flummox defenders.

He said: “I think Andy should be in the England squad. When he is fit, he is a handful for any defender. I know if I was playing against him and he was in the opposite team, I’d be in for a tough game. It gives England something different.”

Welsh international Collins points out that England would benefit from the aerial ability of Carroll. Southgate’s charges travel to Germany for a friendly on March 22, then host Lithuania on March 26 in a World Cup qualifying encounter.

Collins says that he is fully aware of his team-mate’s capabilities, having trained alongside the hitman and witnessed first hand his physical power; he adds that, to his mind, it’s a “no brainer” for him to be in the squads to offer a “different option” when attacking.

Carroll missed out on the Hammers’ last two games through injury but it seems he may return to the squad for the visit of Chelsea to London Stadium on Monday.

Collins bagged a goal against the Premier League leaders at Stamford Bridge in the reverse fixture this season and says Bilic’s troops can be inspired by October’s EFL Cup win over Antonio Conte’s side.

He said: “We beat them at our place in the cup so it shows they’ve got to come to us and it’s going to be a good night. They’ve shown their class in the last few weeks and they’re a top quality team. It’s easy for me to say, but it’s up to them to throw the Premier League title away now.”

Collins, 33, has been sidelined by Bilic for the past five matches and has to currently make do with helping boost the confidence of his team-mates during training and in the dressing room before games.

He added: “It’s easy to go and train every day here and obviously I’d love to be playing, but I’ve got to work hard and train and try and get my chance again soon.”