Neil Lennon, the Celtic manager, has backed Gary Hooper's credentials for England recognition

The former Scunthorpe striker, 24, has yet to represent the Three Lions at any level but has been included in an U21 squad by manager Stuart Pearce.

He hit 29 goals as Celtic won the Scottish Premier League this season, with five goals in Sunday's win over Hearts, a scoring record that means no Englishman has hit more in a European top flight this season.

Time is on his side, as despite England lacking in striking options for this summer's European Championship he is not expected to claim what would be a surprise place in the squad when Roy Hodgson names it on Wednesday afternoon.

Lennon, however, feels Hooper's performances at the Iron in the Championship and over the past two seasons in the SPL merit a future call-up.

"I would like to hope Roy would take him into consideration. If you look at his goalscoring record and his play in general, it has been very good," said Lennon.

"Gary has scored in the Champions League, he has scored in the Europa League, he has a great goalscoring record against Rangers.

"If you look at his tally over the past three seasons, his goals return is fantastic. People will say he is playing in Scotland and it is easy - well it is not."