Southgate Unsure Over Wan-Bissaka Call-Up – Risks Losing Him Forever

3 Posted by - March 8, 2019 - News

England boss Gareth Southgate is facing a true dilemma over the future of Crystal Palace full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka ahead of the Three Lions’ two Match international fixtures. 

The 21-year-old has made an almighty splash in the professional game since making his first-team debut for the Eagles last season and now, many are calling on the England boss to bring him into the full international set-up at the earliest opportunity. Whilst Southgate is understandably excited by the huge potential Aaron has shown, it’s thought that he’s reluctant to name four right-backs in the same squad, meaning one of Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier or Trent Alexander-Arnold would have to miss out for Wan-Bissaka to get the nod. 

The biased side of my personality would suggest that Aaron has outperformed all three of those players defensively over the last 12 months and is more than deserving of a chance to shine on the international stage but given the clubs they play for, I won’t be holding my breath over his potential inclusion. I don’t necessarily think it’s a case of England managers being star-struck by players who represent the bigger clubs, more than an act of self-preservation, given the regularity with which they call up players from their squads year after year. Does it make it right? Of course not but that’s the footballing landscape in 2019. 

Aaron’s eligibility for DR Congo muddies the waters further with the African nation thought to be working hard to convince the full-back to represent them instead of England. Palace have previously been through a very similar scenario with Wilfried Zaha and the Ivory Coast but surely, Southgate and co. won’t drop the ball again on this one?

As someone who has watched him week in, week out since he made his first-team breakthrough, I have no hesitation in saying that the hype surrounding Wan-Bissaka is totally justified. If interest in him from the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Everton, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund isn’t enough to convince Southgate to give him a go I don’t know what will be. 

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  • Rob March 8, 2019 - 8:16 am Reply

    I don’t think being eligible for DR Congo muddies any waters but makes it clearer. If the lad wants to play International level football and gets ignored for a call up to the England squad, just like Zaha, he will play for DR Congo and his gone forever. It’s not rocket science. Add to the fact that DR Congo would play him at a drop of a hat makes it a no brainer to just give him a cap and tie him down to the national team. Then when his arguably one of the best right backs in the world(Statistically his the best already this season right?!) we won’t all be sitting here wishing he played for England. Just like we have and did when Zaha chose Ivory Coast.

  • Graham March 8, 2019 - 8:54 am Reply

    Surely dropping Trippier wouldn’t be an issue – he’s been pretty poor this season

  • Gordon March 8, 2019 - 10:28 am Reply

    It will be fascinating to see Southgate’s next few selections. I referred to “Southgate regulars” in a previous post and this drew the suggestion that Southgate might not have regulars but could keep evolving his squad. He was certainly quick to ditch the old guard and bring in the young Lions from the successful under-21s, -19s etc. Having established a togetherness in the squad which did so well in the World Cup, I’ll be interested to see how much he sticks with the bones of that squad to preserve its togetherness and how much he’s inclined to introduce new blood and move on. If age is is a significant factor in his thinking, then Walker’s position might be at risk with the young Trent-Alexander & Wan -Biassaka snapping at his heels.

  • Jose Fonte baby? Jose Fonte? Oh oh oh March 8, 2019 - 12:09 pm Reply

    If any manager is going to drop Trippier and call up AWB it is Southgate. I think a big part of Southgate’s role as England boss is to give players from outside the Top6/young players who haven’t broken through at club level yet the chance to shine onthe international stage. By doing this, those players are more likely to get minutes and big moves to top clubs which in turn increases the national talent pool.

    If you look at Southgate squads Harry Maguire, Ben Chilwell, Jordan Pickford, Lewis Cook, Tammy Abraham, Dominic Solanke, Callum Wilson, Joe Gomez, RLC, James Tarkowski, Nat Chalobah, James Maddison, Mason Mount and Lewis Dunk have all been given caps/call ups. These were often at times they were’t the obvious choice for a call up and many have got a lot more minutes and press attention as a result of the call up.

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