Southampton stars Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Jay Rodriguez and Luke Shaw have already advertised their right to be considered in England’s future plans with caps under Roy Hodgson, but there’s another dark horse for a place in the Euro 2016 qualifying shake up at St Mary’s.
The Englishman in question is not Nathaniel Clyne or even James Ward-Prowse, in fact he’s not an Englishman at all.
Morgan Schneiderlin, a native of Alsace, France, has big claims for recognition on grounds of both form and eligibility, having lived in England for more than five years.
The Mirror put a potential switch of international allegiances to the 24-year-old in the wake of his goal in front of the watching Hodgson during the recent 4-2 win over Norwich, with the south coast Saint responding coyly:
“Never say never. Don’t give me any time limit, I’ll just see.
“Of course, it’s frustrating (not to play for France) but I just need to keep focused and finish as high as possible and then we’ll see after the World Cup.”
The blue-sky thinkers in the bwin.com trading room make it 8/1 that the Gallic defensive midfielder represents the country he has called home since August 2008 before July 2018.
England have lacked a midfielder whose sole responsibility is to guard centre-halves and move the ball on efficiently since Gareth Barry slipped out of contention, so tactically there is call for Schneiderlin’s nationalisation.
Despite his goal against the Canaries, such unglamorous, yet vital work is the Frenchman’s raison d’etre.
He has made 103 league tackles this term, more than any other player in the Premier League.
Meanwhile he averages more passes per game than all bar 17 other men in the division, with his pass-completion rate better than all bar seven rivals in the top 20 for the aforementioned statistic.