MAURICIO Pellegrino admits if Saints do well this season it could benefit England at the World Cup next summer.

Ryan Bertrand was the only Saints player in the latest Three Lions squad, but there is a contingent of Englishman at the club who Pellegrino believes will be “fighting” for a place in Gareth Soutgate’s squad.

Nathan Redmond and James Ward-Prowse were both handed their first England caps by Southgate – their former under-21s boss – earlier this year in a friendly defeat to Germany.

Neither of them made this latest squad and Fraser Forster, for the first time in more than a year, was also omitted from the roster, even though the national team boss picked four stoppers.

Pellegrino reckons that if Saints can do well in the Premier League, then that might well be a positive for England.

“This year, the World Cup is a big target for the majority of them,” he said. “They are fighting to be there.

“A lot of good English players are here and at Southampton we have to be focused on the job but them playing well could be good for England.”

Forster was snubbed by Southgate, with Joe Hart, Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford and Tom Heaton all selected ahead of the Saints man.

Pellegrino has urged Forster to learn from his omission and says if he continues to improve his form "will come back" in to the England set up.

“We have not talked about this situation but he has to learn from it,” he said. “In football, nothing is fixed. Everything changes all the time.

“In my opinion Fraser is one of the best keepers in the Premier League. I am lucky because he is still young to be a keeper, has good experience and can improve.

“He is always working hard to improve. I cannot talk about the decision of the England manager.

“I respect his point of view. For me the last game against Huddersfield he was really good. Just after the list was announced. He was really good. If he continues in this way he will come back.”

Pellegrino was pleased to see two of his players on international duty getting goals for their country, with Bertrand scoring for England against Malta and Mario Lemina netting for Gabon against Ivory Coast.

The 45-year-old was impressed with Lemina’s strike and reckons Saints have yet to see his best level, following £16m arrival from Juventus in the summer.

“I think he can play better because he needs to play more games,” he said. “He can help us with quality and can play in different positions.

“We did not have that type of player in the past and is good news when they play in the international games.”