Neil Warnock has claimed on the Happy Hour Podcast that he was the first person to back Newcastle United defender Dan Burn to be included in the England squad.
Burn, who joined Newcastle in January in a deal worth £13m, has featured in the Toon’s starting XI for all but one of their games this term – including their four recent wins in their last five fixtures.
As a result, calls have started to emerge claiming the defender deserves a spot in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the upcoming World Cup.
Taking to the Happy Hour Podcast, Warnock has said he was the first person to back Burn’s inclusion for the Three Lions, and that everyone else is now jumping on the bandwagon.
“I said Dan Burn should be in the England team a long time ago, and now everybody is saying that he’s not a bad player is he, that Dan Burn. I was the original Dan Burn fan!”
Warnock backs Burn for England
At a giant stature of 6 foot 7, Burn is certainly a huge presence in Newcastle’s defence.
However, whilst it would be easy to assume the 30-year-old is only good in the air, the Englishman is technically strong on the ball, averaging an 81.8% pass accuracy in the Premier League this term.
Out of all central defenders across Europe, Burn ranks in the top ten percent for having the highest number of touches in the attacking penalty area, illustrating his potential threat at goal.
Whilst Warnock boasts that he has supported the defender’s inclusion for a long time, it would also be fair to say people are justified in their recent opinions of the Newcastle man.
At Brighton, Burn was a solid member of Graham Potter’s back-line. However, since arriving at St James’ Park, there is a noticeable difference in the player’s quality – both as a defender and as a more technical ball player.
With the Seagulls, an England call-up may have been seen as slightly premature. Whereas now, it would certainly be justified – having elevated his all-round game to the next level.
Although the 30-year-old would not be out of place in Southgate’s squad, there are a lot of quality options he is up against in selection, so it also wouldn’t be a surprise to see him miss out on the World Cup.