Kane has 23 goals already this season, including both in the recent north London derby win over Arsenal, and his form earned him a new five-and-a-half-year contract earlier this month.
And in a briefing with journalists on Thursday evening Hodgson said the 21-year-old has proved he deserves a first senior call-up having also scored eight goals in his 10 caps for the England U21’s.
“Is he worth a place in the squad now? Of course he is,” said Hodgson, who is due to name a squad on March 19 for a European Qualifier against Lithuania and a friendly against Italy.
“We’ve brought a lot of young players in during my time. We had Saido Berahino in the last squad. He (Kane) certainly deserves a place in the squad as much as, say, Saido did.
“If your question is, ‘Is he worthy of a place like Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge, whoever?’ Well, that’s something he’ll have to prove.??But unless I give him a chance in the squad, he’ll never get a chance to prove that anyway.”
Hodgson identified Kane and Burnley’s Danny Ings, also capped at U21 level, as players who can lead the line and play the ‘No 10’ role, but both will find Rooney in their path as the England boss made it clear he still sees his captain as a forward.
Rooney has been playing in central midfield for Manchester United, but Hodgson said: “At the moment I don’t necessarily think that will be his best position for us and I don’t have any immediate plans to play him there. But who knows? I will never say never.
“He’s a goalscorer, isn’t he? So one always likes to see one’s goal-scorers in positions where they can get into the box and in and around the box.??He’s our top goal-scorer in the qualifiers, he’s just a couple of goals (four) away now from being England’s leading goalscorer, so I hope he will continue to score goals for us.”
As for Berahino, Hodgson said the West Brom striker had been reprimanded by the Football Association over his recent drink-driving ban, adding: “As far??as we are concerned, the matter is closed.”
The same applies to Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere’s recent brush with a shisha pipe. Hodgson said:??”It isn’t ideal but we don’t live in an ideal world. I am happy it has been??dealt with.”
Hodgson also mentioned Spurs midfielder Ryan Mason and Liverpool teenager Jordon Ibe as young players on his radar and welcomed john Stones’ recent run of games for Everton.
He said: “John Stones is now back from injury, that’s good news for us. I am lucky at the moment, quite a few players have already started to make their mark.
“Ryan Mason is another one, I like the look of him as well. Jordan Ibe is very??young and we have a lot of young players like that he would have to jump over.”