England manager Roy Hodgson has played down West Ham striker Andy Carroll’s chance of being selected for Euro 2016.
There have been calls for Carroll, 27, to make an international return after his recent hat-trick against Arsenal.
But Hodgson said: “Every time someone scores a goal and he’s English it is ‘why is he not playing for England?’
“I’m certainly not going to pick him on the basis that he scored a hat-trick so therefore has to be in the England team.”
Ex-Newcastle and Liverpool forward Carroll has scored two goals in nine England appearances, but has not featured for the national side since October 2012.
Tottenham’s Harry Kane, the Premier League’s top-scorer with 22 goals this season, and Leicester striker Jamie Vardy, who has netted 21 times, have established themselves in the England set-up and both played in last month’s friendlies against Germany and the Netherlands.
Arsenal forwards Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott and Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge were also in those squads, while captain Wayne Rooney has now returned to the Manchester United side following injury.
Carroll has scored seven league goals this season and Hodgson will name his 23-man squad for this summer’s tournament in France on 12 May.
“We know Andy, we know his qualities,” added the 68-year-old.
“In an ideal world, if you had a lot of places at your disposal, you’d always include a guy like him because he is exceptional in the air – but whether or not I’d be able to include him with all these others, I don’t know.”
The England boss hinted that even skipper Rooney might not be assured of a place after his two-month lay-off with a knee problem.
“There’s no disguising the fact that people like (Arsenal midfielder) Jack Wilshere, (Manchester City forward) Raheem Sterling, (Liverpool midfielder) Jordan Henderson, (Arsenal midfielder) Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wayne Rooney – a year ago they were five players who were getting into every squad,” said Hodgson.
“Things have happened to them and we have to reassess.
“If we can be sure they are at the level of fitness and capability to produce the performances they produced a year ago they will be serious contenders. If we are not convinced, we have to give it some thought.”