Nathaniel Clyne won’t have been the only one to be delighted with his first call-up to the England senior squad, which was announced at lunchtime on Thursday.
Eagled-eyed punters will have read a reaffirmation of the Southampton full-back’s credentials on these very pages on the morning in question, along with a recommendation he was backed to make the group at 6/5.
But rather than react with surprised glee, Clyne, Southampton fans and the aforementioned shrewdies were asking why on earth had it taken so long?
Here are three reasons the graduate of the Crystal Palace academy hotbed should have earned his first cap some time ago.
Southampton faired significantly better when Clyne started last season.
His centrality to the cause during an expectation-upstaging campaign was clear from his team’s significantly reduced win-ratio when he failed to start.
When the England newbie made the XI the St Mary’s outfit won 54 per cent of their 24 such games, losing just 21 per cent.
In the 20 games that didn’t feature Clyne in from the off, their win ratio dropped to 30 per cent, while their loss percentage rocketed to 45.
Glen Johnson was the Three Lions’ sole out-and-out right-back at the 2014 World Cup.
Surely Roy Hodgson would have been better off taking another genuine starboard bow operative rather than cumbersome centre-half converts such as Phil Jones and Chris Smalling?
The Southampton man averaged more key passes per 90 minutes than fellow naturals Johnson, Jon Flanagan and Kyle Walker in the league last term and would surely have had leading claims but for the manager’s strange inclinations.
Clyne’s start to 2013/14 has demonstrated his career remains on an upward trajectory.
A buccaneering goal against Liverpool at Anfield on the season’s opening weekend did nothing to quicken the pulse of the England boss either, but the Saints star has continued to improve unperturbed.
His second strike of the campaign against Arsenal meant he has now equalled his tally for the past four seasons already.
Meanwhile he’s started every league game in the divison’s meanest defence bar none.
Southampton visit a Tottenham side shut out by West Brom in their last home league game and they’re 29/10 to keep a clean sheet.