Isaac Hayden has represented England at pretty much every level bar senior, but a debut cap for Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions seems quite far away.
While the Newcastle midfielder was excellent last season, he is still yet to enter the conversation about a possible England call up.
However, the 24-year-old still has ambitions about representing his country, but understands why it is going to be difficult.
“I do think about it [playing for England],” he told the Chronicle.
“I think the issue is that with the way that England play, they tend to go with a lot more attacking, ‘flairy’ type of players in that area.”
More specifically, Hayden names two players stopping him getting in the England team.
“Unfortunately, for me, I’ve got Jordan Henderson, Liverpool captain and Champions League winner, who in the last couple of years has really stepped up his game to the levels where he is now.
“Then you’ve obviously also got Declan Rice, who’s 20, and who has quit the Ireland, so it’s difficult to leave him out.”
Hayden has a point, and it’s good to see he’s being realistic. Henderson is at the top of his game and is a key figure in the current England squad, both on and off the pitch.
As for Rice, England have a vested interested in him after he changed allegiance. But if Hayden can continue to play well, there’s no reason why he can’t enter the conversation.
He showed last season that he can compete with the absolute best under severe pressure.
He was hardly a fan favourite when he came back into the team in January, but Hayden proved his own supporters wrong and became one of the first names on the team-sheet. Now you’d consider him to be captain material.
An England call up may never come his way when you consider the quality he is up against and the type of player he is. All Hayden can do is continue to perform in black and white and hope Southgate takes note.