Premier League - Osman call-up comes at 'the perfect time'

Leon Osman’s call-up for England at the age of 31 has come at "the perfect time", according to fellow late bloomer Chris Powell.

Powell, currently manager of Championship side Charlton Athletic, was selected five times by Sven Goran-Eriksson in 2001 and 2002, making his debut in the 3-0 victory over Spain at the same age as Osman.

And the 43-year-old admitted he was pleased by the news, believing that it bodes well for both the midfielder and manager Roy Hodgson’s selection policy.

"I think it’s fantastic," Powell told Eurosport-Yahoo!.

"It shows that Roy is looking at players who have been unsung heroes at their clubs and is willing to pick people you wouldn’t normally expect for the England squad based on merit.

"Maybe it was the same situation with me under Sven in 2001. Either way, I’m pleased for Leon because he’s always been a good player regardless of what team David Moyes has put together.

"I wish him well and hope he gets some minutes. A friendly game such as the one against Sweden is the perfect time to put him into a game and I had a wry smile when I heard about it."

Powell continued: "It’s good what Roy is doing, to put someone with Leon’s Premier League experience in with the likes of Raheem Sterling and Carl Jenkinson, with them all in a similar position as far as the national team goes regardless of age.

"It says to everyone that if you’re doing well, you will get a chance at senior level because you’ll never know otherwise."

The squad also features Liverpool midfielder Jonjo Shelvey and, subject to FIFA clearance, Arsenal’s Jenkinson – both of whom were recruited by the Premier League sides after having graduated from Charlton’s academy and starring in the senior side’s League One tenure.

"There are a lot of Charlton connections in the England squad and that is good because our fans and our coaching staff will be pleased to see England receive two promising young players who started their journey here at this club," Powell commented.

"Carl had played one game for the Addicks before I came in as manager. Ten games later and he was going to Arsenal! And looking at him now, it’s a sensational story. He was on loan at Eastbourne and Welling, and now could end up being an England international.

"And Jonjo has also had some rise. We always knew about his talent through the games he played and the goals he scored for the first team here that he could go on to good things.

"Sadly because of the situation we found ourselves in at the time here it would happen elsewhere, but he is getting a lot of football now under Brendan Rodgers and it’s looking like he will be involved for England."

The manager, who led the South London side to the League One title with a 101-point haul last term, hopes the success of both Jenkinson and Shelvey helps spur on the current youthful crop to call-ups with their various national teams.

Powell said: "It’s marvellous for those two young players and it goes to show that if you can get into the Premier League first teams you can get called up.

"We have always had a good pathway for players. It’s what we have always built the Charlton academy on and if you look over the years we’ve always given players a chance to make their way into the first team.

"This is a good advert for us that players in our youth ranks can work their way to the first team and represent their respective countries, as Diego Poyet (son of Brighton manager Gus), Jordan Cousins and Ade Azeez have at youth level recently."