Gareth Southgate has named his latest England squad, but there is no place for Aston Villa defender Ezri Konsa for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
Both Tyrone Mings and Ollie Watkins have been called up as the Three Lions prepare to face Andorra and Hungary, as per the Villa site, and it’s certainly pleasing to see them involved in the England set-up, particularly Watkins after missing out on the European Championship squad in the summer.
However, despite his ongoing impressive form, Konsa has been unable to break into Southgate’s plans, and while selfishly that’s perhaps a good thing from a Villa perspective, there is surely no denying that the 23-year-old deserves his chance at international level now.
Konsa now a pillar of the Villa defence
Villa have kept three clean sheets in our opening six Premier League games this season, with Konsa now starting the last 31 consecutive league games for the club, in which we’ve kept 10 clean sheets in total.
He has been a consistent and reliable performer at a high level for some time now, as he rarely looks out of his comfort zone such is the dominating manner of his defensive ability.
Rarely do players dribble past him and when forced to shoot, they find themselves with a formidable obstacle to get past with Konsa making six blocks so far this season, second only to Mings for Villa, along with 23 clearances, joint-13th most in the league as a whole.
Konsa makes defending look effortless with his awareness, positioning and physical presence all making him a pivotal piece in our backline, and the fact that hasn’t been acknowledged and rewarded by Southgate yet again is disappointing.
Nevertheless, from a selfish Villa standpoint, it gives him a chance to rest over the break and ensure he’s ready for Wolves on October 16, but it does raise the question as to how long Southgate and England have left to make Konsa a part of their long-term plans moving forward.
Konsa is eligible for Portuguese citizenship through his parents, and just as we’ve seen with Matty Cash who is set to pursue an international career with Poland, as reported by Sky Sports, we could see his Villa teammate follow suit and look elsewhere if opportunities with England aren’t forthcoming.
That of course also depends on whether or not Portugal make a play for Konsa and make it clear that they would welcome him into the set-up in the more immediate future, but for now, his focus will no doubt remain on performing for Villa as he has done for over 18 months now, and he will eventually get his rewards at international level further down the line.