The Sheffield United defence stood firm once again as the newly promoted side beat Arsenal 1-0.
This was the standout result from what has so far been a good first season back in the Premier League. After nine games the Blades are ninth.
Not only that but only leaders Liverpool can match their record of seven goals conceded. Only Manchester City have kept as many as their four clean sheets in the top flight in 2019/20.
Since the beginning of last season the Blades have 25 league clean sheets. No other side in the top four divisions in England can boast the same stats.
Going forwards there is still room for improvement, certainly in terms of scoring goals. But at the back it could be argued Chris Wilder’s side are the best in the country – and it’s time the national team reflected that.
Sheffield United defence should be represented by England
During the most recent international break Dean Henderson became the first Blade to receive a senior England call-up since Brian Deane back in 1992.
Currently on loan from Manchester United, it’s Henderson’s form at Bramall Lane over the past two seasons that has impressed Gareth Southgate.
Yet the goalkeeper only received that call following injury to Tom Heaton. The Aston Villa number one was back in action at the weekend and would probably expect to be recalled for upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers with Montenegro and Kosovo next month.
However, not only should Henderson arguably keep his place, but the 22-year-old should be joined by other teammates.
Central defence has been a problem area for the Three Lions in recent times. Michael Keane and Harry Maguire started the recent 2-1 defeat to Czech Republic. Keane was dropped for the following fixture with Bulgaria and replaced by Tyrone Mings for his debut.
Like Jack O’Connell, Mings is left-sided and played in the Championship last term. Yet he was not part of the division’s best defence both in 2018/19 and so far this campaign. We have previously argued for a call-up for O’Connell here.
But perhaps it shouldn’t end there.
Chris Basham has been just as integral to the Blades’ defensive success as O’Connell. What hinders Basham in comparison to his teammate is his age, having turned 31 in July. Southgate generally looks towards youth, but perhaps a bit of experience at the back wouldn’t be a bad thing.
At 26, George Baldock fits the bill. The marauding wing-back is another success story from 2019/20. Although there is plenty of competition for England with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker also in contention.
They may be new to the division, but the form of Wilder’s men deserves international recognition.