The Burundi national football team have put the squeeze on their English counterparts by inviting Three Lions hopeful Saido Berahino to play for the country of his birth.
After scoring 12 goals in 24 Premier League starts this term, the West Brom ace has been widely tipped to win his first cap for Roy Hodgson’s side, making the squad for games against Slovenia and Scotland in November.
The Croydon commandant left Berahino on the bench for both games and with Tottenham striker Harry Kane sure to be selected for forthcoming fixtures against Lithuania and Italy his chances of game time look even slimmer.
Comments made about aspirations of playing for a ‘big club’ earlier in the season indicates the 21-year-old isn’t lacking in ambition and confidence, which would suggest he’ll turn down the chance to play for Burundi.
But if Berahino wants an international career, he’ll be better served accepting their offer, lest he follow in the footsteps of these forgotten figures who unwisely pledged allegiance to England.
The Arsenal man on loan at West Ham won his first cap in a friendly against Sweden as the Three Lions attempted to stymie Finland’s efforts to sign up the young right-back.
He marked his first and only cap to date with a 15-minute cameo and, despite consistently strong showings with the Hammers, he hasn’t so much as made a squad since.
The desperation of his situation is magnified further when it’s considered that England have deployed centre-halves John Stones and Calum Chambers at right full-back this season.
The Crystal Palace flyer earned a call up to the squad for the same match as Jenkinson when playing for the Eagles in the Championship.
It’s possible that Manchester United’s courting of the Ivory Coast-born star was the catalyst behind the rising of his stock, for he hasn’t been involved since featuring against Scotland for his second cap.
When the West Ham skipper was at his battering ram best he was forever knocking back overtures from the Republic of Ireland in the hope of earning England recognition for his performances at Bolton.
Despite four seasonal hauls over ten goals when playing for Premier League teams, Nolan’s call never came and, aged 32, it almost certainly never will.