Townsend has been part of the England set-up since 2013 and would have almost certainly featured in the 2014 World Cup finals had he not suffered a serious ankle injury.
Since his recovery, the 23-year-old has re-established himself in coach Roy Hodgson’s plans, and was called up for England’s recent international matches against Lithuania and Italy.
Keown seems to be impressed with Townsend and explains why the Spurs man steps up for his country when called upon.
“Well I think Andros Townsend had a big hand in actually securing England’s qualification for the World Cup,” the former Arsenal star told The Daily Mail when asked for his opinion on Townsend. “In games when we had our backs to the wall, he was magnificent.
“Roy is a loyal manager and rewards players for performances. Sometimes for Tottenham, Andros tries too hard. But in an England shirt he looks more relaxed and gets the balance right.
"Maybe that’s because he feels he doesn’t have to prove anything to Roy. At times he can look like he’s playing for himself but with Roy he looks more comfortable.
It is Keown’s own opinion, of course, but maybe he is right; perhaps Townsend plays better for England than for Spurs because he feels relaxed, and perhaps Mauricio Pochettino trusts him more than Andre Villas-Boas did.
Hodgson has shown over the past several months that he is loyal to his players and is open to calling them up irrespective of their form.
Townsend has not been in great form in recent times, but he stepped up his game against Italy earlier this week.
The 23-year-old has also been given more chances by Spurs manager Pochettino, making 14 appearances in the Premier League and seven in the Europa League so far this campaign.
In 2012-13, Townsend could feature in just five Premier League matches, and last season he played 25 times in the league for Tottenham.