An impressive 2-0 winners over the Red Devils over the weekend has brought the Hammers squad up to dizzling heights of 5th in the Premier League after 6 games. Since coming back from injury, captain Mark Noble has impressed this season and has led the team to 3 wins in 4 games, but do you know that he has never been called up to the England squad before? We look at English players who are playing well but somehow has not done enough to get a national team call-up.
1. Mark Noble (West Ham)
Despite featuring regularly for the England youth teams and having captained both the English Under-18 and Under-21 squads before, Mark has somehow never won a single England cap over his 10 years in the Premier League with West Ham. He is their designated spot kick taker and is also ranked the top 5 penalty takers in the European leagues in 2014 for best spot kick conversation ratio since 2009. At 32 now, it might be too little too late, but if West Ham continues to do well this season, it will be hard to ignore their midfield lynchpin who is at the focal point of how they perform.
2. Ashley Barnes (Burnley)
Having come through the lower leagues earlier in his career, nobody was sure that Ashley has what it takes to succeed at the top level. However, over the last few season with Burnley in the Premier League, he has proven that he has what it takes as he improves on his scoring record in the Premier League each season, ending with a season best 12 goals last season. He has again started the season well with 4 goals in 6 games and has even got fellow players like Stuart Pearce and Charlie Austin calling for him to be called up to the squad. However, with Southgate as the gaffer, it seems unlikely that he will get the rub of the green as he clearly prefers younger players in his squad.
3. James Maddison (Leicester City)
With the foxes flying high in the Premier League, this one is probably going to happen in a matter of time. James has enjoyed a meteoric rise since winning the EFL Championship Young Player of the Year in 2017-18 and has actually already been called up by Gareth Southgate but has yet to feature in any internationl games for the Three Lions. If he continues with his form, we think that he probably won’t have to wait before the end of the season to get his first cap!
4. Hamza Choudhury (Leicester City)
Another youngster who has actually appeared in all 6 of the Foxes league games this season, Choudhury has already been called up to the Under-21s and was one of the few standout performers in England’s dismal UEFA European Under-21 2019 championship. He has shown maturity way beyond his age, has pace and also tenacity and is now an established starter in central midfield alongside Ndidi. Interestingly, Choudhury has South Asian descent (his mother is Bangladeshi) and there are hopes of him becoming the first South Asian to play for the English national team.
5. Ben Mee (Burnley)
Ben first joined Burnley alongside Kieran Trippier as youngsters from Man City in 2011 and have since spent 8 seasons with the Clarets. Since then, he has been an everpresent in the Burnley side. Many of his peers and defensive partners including Trippier, Tom Heaton, Nick Pope and James Tarkowski have since gone on to win national call ups but the only ever present has surprisingly gotten any recognition for his efforts. At 29, he is caught in the same situation as his teammate Ashley Barnes.
6. Ashley Westwood (Burnley)
Another 29 year old Englishman with the Clarets, Ashley had probably his most productive season so far in the Premier League with the Clarets last season when he turned out for them in all but 4 games in the Premier League. Ashley’s versatility allows him to operate across midfield as well as to help out in defence if needed. He has been a key part of the Clarets team who have started the season relatively well this time round without any European competition distractions.
7. Conor Coady (Wolves)
An academy graduate of Liverpool, Coady has represented England at various youth levels. Despite all the big money signings Wolves has made, Coady has been a mainstay in the team and played in all 38 league games for Wolves in a very successful return to the Premier League in 2018-19. Despite stuttering a little this season with juggling both Europe league action as well as the Premier League, he’s still one of the most consistent English centre backs in the game at the moment.