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European Qualifiers Group E

Ox: Ferdinand can come back

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has admitted his disappointment at Rio Ferdinand's England withdrawal but sees no reason why the defender cannot represent his country again in the future.

Last Updated: 18/03/13 at 17:40 Post Comment

Manager Roy Hodgson had performed a selection U-turn in welcoming Manchester United defender Ferdinand back to his squad for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.

But the centre-back on Monday lunchtime had to pull out of the squad due to his 'detailed pre-planned training and medical programme', which has managed his back injury problems in recent years.

And after learning of Ferdinand's withdrawal, Oxlade-Chamberlain told Sky Sports News: "It is really disappointing for us. Obviously, Rio is an amazing footballer.

"He plays for a club like Manchester United so the experience that he can bring to us from his club team and the level he plays at - Champions League football - would be brilliant.

"But the players that will come in and the players in the squad are more than capable to do the role and fill in with good quality and good experience."

Hodgson had previously appeared to have looked beyond 34-year-old Ferdinand having decided not to select the former West Ham United and Leeds United player for Euro 2012.

But Ferdinand has always maintained he will not turn his back on his country and Oxlade-Chamberlain sees no reason why there could not be a return in the future.

"I do not think there is any reason why he should not," said the Arsenal star. "He is an amazing player and has been for so many years.

"But, obviously, it is not for me to say. I am not the manager. But, for me, Rio is an amazing player and would be a great asset to the squad."

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