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Downing: Enrique merits Spain call

LIVERPOOL winger Stewart Downing has tipped team-mate Jose Enrique to receive a first international call-up very soon, but the Spaniard himself is concentrating on matters closer to home.

Enrique has slotted in the best of Kenny Dalglish's summer signings and has played every minute of the Reds' 10 Premier League matches.

Surprisingly, considering Spain's apparent shortage of left-backs, the 25-year-old has yet to be called into the national squad, but Downing believes his performances this season should mean it is only a matter of time before that changes.

"Jose is a talented player and has done very well since he's come here," said the former Aston Villa winger, himself a summer arrival.

"He must have a great chance of getting in the Spain squad and maybe he will be lining up against England (next week)."

Downing added: "I enjoy playing alongside him and I think you can see we're gelling as a team."

Enrique has admitted in the past he would love to play for his country but, until he gets the call, he is concentrating on developing his game for his new club.

The Spaniard, a £6million signing from Newcastle, has already developed a good understanding with Downing down the left and he wants to push that further if he can.

"I have always enjoyed attacking. When I was younger playing in Spain, I was more of an attacking player than a defender," Enrique said.

"In England you have to learn to defend because the wingers are the best in the world.

"I have learned a lot about defending here because my football has always been attacking.

"At the moment I am happy. It is easy to play with the players I am training with every day. We have a good team."