Gareth Southgate has been keeping a keen eye on the performances of Sheffield United centre-back Jack O’Connell this season (via Sky Sports).
The Three Lions take on Montenegro and Kosovo in UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers in November and have already called up teammate Dean Henderson in the past.
O’Connell has been an ever-present for Sheffield United this season, starting in all of their nine Premier League fixtures so far (Transfermarkt).
His performances have been impressive. Indeed, he has helped the Blades keep four clean sheets already this term (Transfermarkt), and they have conceded the joint-fewest amount of goals in the league so far (BBC Sport), which is a brilliant achievement given that they are a newly-promoted side.
According to Sky Sports, Southgate has been regularly attending Bramall Lane this season, and O’Connell’s strong performances have led to the England manager monitoring his progress closely.
If O’Connell is called up for England in the near future, then you can’t deny that he deserves it.
As already mentioned the 25-year-old has been part of one of the meanest defences in the Premier League this term. He is also arguably in better form than Michael Keane, who has been part of an Everton back four which has conceded 13 goals in their last seven matches (Transfermarkt).
Added to that he is also playing regularly unlike John Stones, who has started just twice in the league for Manchester City (Transfermarkt).
One thing that could work against him is that he plays in a three-man defence rather than a back four which is what England use. Southgate has previously been reluctant to call upon players who play in different systems, most notably Conor Coady, who also plays in a back three for Wolves (via Birmingham Mail).
However, another left-sided defender in Tyrone Mings, who was playing Championship football last season, recently won his first England cap after an impressive start in the Premier League this term. O’Connell will be hoping that he can follow in those footsteps.
Will Sheffield United avoid the drop?
Sheffield United fans, do you think that Jack O’Connell deserves an England call-up? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…
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