Representing your country is the ultimate honour for footballers, with Premier League players having departed for games across the globe during September’s international break.
Brighton’s Pascal Gross hit the headlines after earning his first cap for Germany at the age of 32, a long-awaited inclusion for the midfielder after six seasons of under-appreciated excellence in the Premier League.
10 of the best Premier League players without an international cap:
Jacob Ramsey appeared on the brink of an England inclusion before injury curtailed his campaign at the u-21 European Championship this summer, with the midfielder having been a standout for the Young Lions in their ultimately victorious tournament.
Ramsey missed the final after breaking a metatarsal, but is expected to return to action later this month. The marauding midfielder was excellent during Aston Villa’s run to Europa Conference League qualification last season, earning the club’s Young Player of the Season award for a second successive campaign after six Premier League goals and seven assists.
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“I know the level of the England players, I’ve been around it, and have enough experience to know it’s only a matter of time,” former Villa boss Steven Gerrard said of Ramsey.
Levi Colwill was included in the senior England squad for the first time this month, but awaits his international debut after being overlooked for fixtures with Ukraine and Scotland.
The Chelsea centre-back starred as the u-21 side won the European Championship without conceding a single goal during the summer, while the 20-year-old has made a solid start since returning to west London from a loan spell at Brighton.
A natural left-sided centre-back with a progressive passing range, Colwill has set his sights on breaking into the England team before Euro 2024.
“Playing for Chelsea – one of the biggest clubs in the world – it’s got to be my aim to hopefully be in the England team come the Euros,” he said.
Michael Olise made history last season as the first Crystal Palace player to record 10+ assists in a Premier League campaign.
Only three players – Kevin De Bruyne, Mohamed Salah and Leandro Trossard – created more goals than Olise last season, who has earned seven caps for France at u-21 level.
Turning the pitch into a playground
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) December 12, 2022
After turning down a move away from the Eagles during the summer, Olise and teammate Eberechi Eze will be crucial to the club’s evolution in the post-Wilfried Zaha era.
Everton sought to solve their goalscoring issues with the capture of Beto in a €30m deal from Udinese this summer.
The 25-year-old has taken an unorthodox route to the Premier League, but two impressive campaigns in Serie A have persuaded Everton to spend big on the 6ft 4in striker.
He made an immediate impact with a goal on debut in the Carabao Cup and will hope to find enough form to gatecrash Portugal’s squad for next summer’s European Championship.
— Everton (@Everton) August 30, 2023
Beto was named in a preliminary 55-man squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Is there another international nation with such depth in a single position? The Premier League is packed full of English right-backs who, born elsewhere, would have perhaps racked up the international caps.
Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, Reece James and Trent Alexander-Arnold make up a formidable group of competitors for the right-back role, leaving Manchester United’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka without a senior appearance.
The 25-year-old is understood to be considering changing his international allegiance to DR Congo, having made one appearance for the nation’s u-20 side in 2015.
Sven Botman became an instant fans’ favourite at Newcastle last season, with the domineering Dutch defender a key figure in the club’s top four finish.
Botman’s performances have not been enough to earn him senior international honours however, with the centre-back having failed to make it past the Netherlands bench given competition from Virgil van Dijk, Nathan Ake, Matthijs de Ligt, Jurrien Timber and Stefan de Vrij.
The Oranje are perhaps not the force of old, but they’re pretty solid when it comes to centre-back stocks.
Anthony Gordon will hope his fine summer for England’s u-21 side can catapult him into the conversation for a senior place, having been named as the Under-21 European Championship Player of the Tournament as the Young Lions were crowned champions for the first time since 1984.
After a slow start at Newcastle, Gordon has shown signs of fulfilling his potential this season. He leads his Newcastle teammates for assists, expected assists and dribbles attempted, while he opened his goalscoring account in the 2-1 defeat to Liverpool.
— England (@England) July 9, 2023
Gordon was unfortunate to be on the losing side in that contest after tormenting Trent Alexander-Arnold and more performances of that standard could push him into Gareth Southgate’s plans.
The fourth member of England’s victorious u-21 team this summer, Gibbs-White is knocking on the door of the senior side.
Named as Nottingham Forest’s Player of the Season after an outstanding first season at the City Ground, Gibbs-White silenced the noise that greeted his price-tag to become the creative centre-piece of Steve Cooper’s side.
Smooth with it
— Nottingham Forest (@NFFC) August 19, 2023
The 23-year-old has the talent and temperament to succeed in an England shirt, but competition for a place in an advanced midfield role is fierce. In Jude Bellingham and Phil Foden, he’s competing with two of the very best young talents in world football.
Micky van de Ven
Micky van de Ven has made a strong start to his career at Spurs, having signed for the north Londoners from Wolfsburg during the summer.
The Dutch defender appears tailor-made for the Premier League with his powerful running on and off the ball and will hope to continue improving in Ange Postecoglou’s adventurous side. Should he continue on his current trajectory, he could earn a senior Netherlands cap in the near future. Van de Ven was an unused substitute for the recent Euro 2024 qualification win over Ireland.
Destiny Udogie is another who has hit the ground running at Spurs this season, after spending last season on loan at former club Udinese.
The 20-year-old – who has 11 caps for Italy at u-21 level – has been all-action over the Premier League’s opening weeks and possesses potential to become one of the division’s best.
New Azzurri boss Luciano Spalletti will be keeping a close eye on his development this season.
Read – Six Premier League players who impressed during the international break
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