Sheffield United defender Jack O’Connell is unlikely to get his first England call-up later today.
Gareth Southgate is set to announce his squad for upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers with Montenegro and Kosovo.
Sky Sports reports that Southgate regularly attends matches at Bramall Lane and is monitoring the progress of O’Connell.
Yet this international break may have come a little too soon for the 25-year-old, with John Stones to get a recall ahead of him.
According to the Guardian, Southgate will bring Stones back into his squad with the Manchester City star having recovered from injury.
The 25-year-old is expected to take the place of Everton’s Michael Keane. Joe Gomez, Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings and Fikayo Tomori are likely to retain their spots.
Mings, Tomori and on-loan Blades goalkeeper Dean Henderson were the uncapped players called up last time. Although O’Connell probably won’t become the latest, there could be another Three Lions debut.
Jack Grealish is being tipped for selection, despite missing Aston Villa’s 2-1 defeat to Liverpool at the weekend with a calf injury.
Does Jack O’Connell deserve an England place?
Last month, Henderson became the first Blade to be called up to a senior England squad since Brian Deane in 1992. However, the 22-year-old is technically a Manchester United player on loan at Bramall Lane.
Chris Wilder’s men have been gaining many admirers this season since their promotion to the Premier League. They are currently sixth in the table after 11 matches following their 3-0 win over Burnley.
That was their fifth clean sheet of 2019/20 – a record that can only be matched by Manchester City. The Blades also have the joint best defensive record of only eight goals conceded alongside Leicester City.
It could therefore be argued that O’Connell – who has started every league match this term – has a strong case for Three Lions inclusion. If he misses out this time, surely that first cap won’t be too far away?