International breaks are fairly dull; I don’t think I’m the only one who’s fallen out of love with the national team over the past few years, which is mainly due to some abject tournament performances.
Nevertheless, it is always nice to see Villa represented on the international stage, especially for England, and with the emergence of Fabian Delph as a potential England regular, I thought it might be quite nice to have a look at which other Villans could be linking up with Hodgson’s squad soon.
Westwood goes about his job with a quiet air of professionalism and doesn’t put a foot wrong very often. Westwood could be the next player that Villa provide to the England squad but he first needs to show where he could fit in. There is a lot of competition for midfield places in the England side so I feel that Westwood needs to add a more creative streak to his game.
I’m a fan of Westwood’s work and think he will benefit from playing alongside Delph and Cleverley, who both have international experience. The central three at Villa can show how well they work as a unit to and may even earn themselves a call up as a group one day.
For me, Agbonlahor’s days as an England prospect are over. Of course, we all love him and he loves the club and I have no doubt that he will stay at Villa Park for the remainder of his career but I just don’t think he has the ability to play for England, given the current striking talent on offer.
If Agbonlahor could have developed his ability to finish, like Benteke, he’d be a real force in the Premier League. His pace and strength make him a force to be reckoned with and he has made a decent start to this season, scoring a couple of vital goals to get him off the mark. Let’s hope we get a few more useful years out of our longest serving player.
The best of the rest
Nathan Baker and Matt Lowton could be in with a distant shout of an international call-up at some point in the future while Tom Cleverley is hoping to impress Hodgson and regain a place in the England squad.
I feel a bit sorry for Lowton, who certainly wasn’t awful in his first two seasons with Aston Villa. In fact, he seemed to be progressing at a steady pace. We all remember his incredible goal against Stoke with fondness. Perhaps a loan move would do him good, just to get playing again, because the early season form of Alan Hutton has kept him out of the side and not even on the bench.
As for Baker, please hold your laughter: he has looked much better this season playing alongside Senderos and even put in a man of the match performance against Liverpool a few weeks ago. We saw him perform well last weekend too, when he made some vital last-ditch tackles against Manchester City.
Ultimately, we will just have to wait and see who the next claret and blue star to take to the national stage is. If history’s anything to go by, it won’t be too long before another Villan has three lions on his shirt.