The scintillating form of Saido Berahino and Stewart Downing has seen them both included in Roy Hodgson’s England squad to face Slovenia and Scotland next week.
It’s the West Brom striker’s first call up to the senior team and comes off the back of him notching seven goals – two more than the next highest-scoring Englishman – in the Premier League.
Downing, however, has 34 caps to his name, but has not made a squad since a 1-0 friendly win in Norway ahead of Euro 2012, which was the Croydon Commandant’s first match at the helm.
With two goals and four assists to his name, few Premier League-based midfielders of any nationality are in better form than the 30-year-old at the moment and his recall is fully warranted.
In addition to this, the West Ham man also averages 2.8 key passes every time he takes to the field, as well as 2.5 crosses, 3.8 long balls and completes 84 per cent of his passes.
Former Aston Villa colleague James Milner is the only Englishman to have a higher key passes mean and greater accuracy when it comes to finding teammates, while Angel Di Maria is the only player to attempt more crosses.
These stats indicate that Downing could be the cape-clad superhero to pull the Three Lions clear of the creativity chasm they found themselves marooned in against Estonia last time out.
Despite this, the graduate of Middlesbrough’s esteemed academy finds himself an 11/2 long shot to make the starting line up for Slovenia’s Wembley visit.
Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling will be favourite to begin the game on the left flank, but after allegedly declaring himself ‘too tired’ to tackle the Estonians, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for Hodgson to leave him out.
It’s without doubt that Downing has been outperforming the Jamaica-born winger in recent weeks and should be afforded the chance to impress from the off against Slovenia.