STEVEN CAULKER is be­ing touted as the ideal choice to take over from John Terry at the heart of the Eng­land de­fence.

Terry left Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson with a ma­jor headache on Sun­day night when he an­nounced his re­tire­ment from in­ter­na­tional football.

The Chelsea cap­tain is fac­ing an FA in­de­pen­dent reg­u­la­tory hear­ing into a charge that he used a racist slur to­wards QPR’s An­ton Fer­di­nand in Oc­to­ber last year.

The hear­ing is expected to go into a third day.


Caulker, who had a suc­cess­ful year on loan at Swansea last sea­son, is yet to make a Premier League start for Spurs, but he was still called up by Hodgson for Eng­land’s friendly against Italy in Au­gust.

The 20-year-old is likely to make his first start un­der An­dre Vil­las-Boas at Carlisle in the Cap­i­tal One Cup tonight.

And Spurs as­sis­tant boss St­ef­fen Fre­und be­lieves the young de­fender is des­tined for a long Eng­land ca­reer.

“It’s def­i­nitely pos­si­ble,” said Fre­und when asked if Caulker could re­place Eng­land.

“He is sim­i­lar to Terry. He has al­ready been called up for the na­tional side and he’s def­i­nitely one of best cen­tre-halves in Eng­land.

“He is like a rock in the de­fence. He’s very tall and strong, and he is dif­fi­cult to beat in a one-on-one sit­u­a­tion.

“He’s very tal­ented and wants to im­prove ev­ery game.

“John Terry was a


for great cen­tre-half for Eng­land, ev­ery­one ap­pre­ci­ates that, but Steven Caulker is maybe one for the fu­ture.”

Sev­eral Spurs play­ers from the team that beat QPR on Sun­day will be rested for the Cap­i­tal One Cup tie at Carlisle.

The vic­tory over the Hoops was Vil­las-Boas’ first win at White Hart Lane.

Many Spurs fans are still to be con­vinced the 34-year-old is the right choice to lead the club for­ward, but Fre­und is con­vinced a bright fu­ture lies ahead un­der AVB.

“I’m sure we’ll have suc­cess,” said Fre­und.

“I think it’s good to re­mem­ber his suc­cess at Porto, not just what hap­pened at Chelsea last sea­son.

“He won ev­ery­thing in his first year at Porto. He al­ready has a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence.

“I en­joy ev­ery day I work with him.”

HOT TOTTY: Caulker has all the as­sets to re­place Terry

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