For some reason England have been scared to call up players from the Championship, or indeed the lower teams in the Premier League. But why is this? There's plenty of talent down there. You only have to look at a team like Southampton whose star players (Lallana, Lambert, Rodriguez) spent plenty of time in the lower divisions and look better players as a result. I'm not saying that Championship players are the answer, but hope to outline a few lads who could possibly add to the England squad, if not now, at least in the future.
Danny Ings. First up is Danny Ings, a player I really admire and think has come on magnificently this season. With 20 goals in 36 apps this term he boasts an impressive record. His major attribute is arguably his movement, something that the likes of Andy Carroll lacks. At 21 he undoubtedly has a big future ahead of him, but could England use a natural finisher like him now?
Ravel Morrison. I recall earlier in the season, Hodgson himself suggested that Morrison had a good chance of making the plane if he kept up his excellent early form. Sadly, he appears his own worst enemy. He is believed to have been released from Manchester United as a youngster due to a poor attitude, and it seems rather odd that he's been loaned to QPR when he was playing well at West Ham. Nonetheless, he's a very good player.
Callum McManaman. It's a real shame that McManaman's playing time this season has been restricted by injury. I'm sure most of you will recall seeing him terrorise Manchester City in last season's Fa Cup final. He similarly gave Arsenal countless problems in this years semi-final. He still looks a touch raw, but he is certainly direct, has no issue running at people, and puts in a nice cross. One for the future?
Charlie Austin. In a similar mould to Ings, Austin has been excellent at sticking the ball in the net. 14 goals in 25 appearances this season is an impressive record. Like Ings, is he worth taking ahead of someone like Defoe?
Danny Drinkwater. He's been extremely effective at the heart of Leicester's promotion push and has a good shot on him (as anyone watching Reading v Leicester on Monday will have witnessed). Ultimately he's not as good as someone like Barkley, but is still a neat player.
I could go on. The list of capable, English players in the Championship is lengthy, with players like Troy Deeney, Jamaal Lascelles and Will Hughes all worthy of mention here. Still, I hope this piece has highlighted that there is English talent in the Championship. Hodgson seems a man who sticks to his guns, so I wouldn't expect any shock inclusions, but I certainly wouldn't exclude any player purely on the league they play in.
I'm hopeful some of these names will represent England at some point in the future.