David Beckham backs young England squad to flourish at World Cup

Former England captain David Beckham has tipped the young stars of the current squad to flourish at next month's World Cup.

The average age of Roy Hodgson's 23-man contingent is just 26 - the youngest since the 1958 World Cup in Sweden.

Luke Shaw and Raheem Sterling are both still in their teens, while Ross Barkley and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain don't turn 21 until later this year.

Danny Welbeck, Jordan Henderson, Jack Wilshere and Phil Jones are all under the age of 24, and Beckham thinks that Hodgson has picked a fresh-looking side that he feels can achieve something in Brazil.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, the former Manchester United great said: "I think it's a really good selection. Roy has done really well since he has come in as the manager of England; it's a great job to have, but it's a tough job.

"You've got players that are playing at the top of their game and I think what he's done is pick players that are at the top of their game. They're young players, they've had great seasons.

"People have been saying it for years about players coming in to a big competition like this - it's not about that anymore.

"These young players have been playing in the biggest league in the world this season and quite a few seasons so there's no players that are going to go on to this stage and be affected by it because you've got players that are playing, week in and week out, against some of the best players in the world and in the biggest league in the world and for some of the biggest clubs in the world."

Despite the relative inexperience, Hodgson has also selected captain Steven Gerrard and 35-year-old Frank Lampard, and both players have well over 200 caps between them, while Wayne Rooney has played for his national team 89 times.

The Three Lions begin their Group D campaign against Italy on June 14, before playing Uruguay in Sao Paulo five days later.

The group stage ends with a game against Costa Rica on June 24.

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