With the Premier League making way for the international schedule in the next fortnight, some players will be getting a few weeks off. Many will be doing battle for their countries as the Euro 2020 qualifiers continue.
However, there are also those who will be looking on enviously as others represent their countries. Here are five players who have yet to play for their country, but probably should have by now.
Aymeric Laporte (French)
Obviously, to be a World Cup-winning country, there must be some strength in depth in the squad – but the idea of Laporte never having won a cap for France is utterly baffling.
The 25-year-old has been called up before but has never entered the field of play for Les Bleus and so is still waiting patiently for his first cap.
Three years ago, the former Athletic Bilbao man, who has Basque heritage, was in the process of making himself available for Spain but then ultimately decided he would rather pursue a call up for France.
There are plenty of players ahead of him in the pecking order – they include Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Clement Lenglet, and Kurt Zouma.
It is strange, though, that someone who has been a key part of Manchester City’s dominance in the last two years has never been called upon, though injury has put pay to him being involved any upcoming games.
James Maddison (English)
Another player who has come very close, and may yet make his debut over this international break, is Leicester’s James Maddison.
In reality, however, he probably should have played for Gareth Southgate’s men by now.
When the Foxes paid Norwich City around £20million for Maddison’s signature back at the beginning of last summer, many eyebrows were raised at such a hefty fee paid for a player who had only ever figured as high as the Championship.
However, those eyebrows soon lowered when he instantly took to the Premier League – his elegance on the ball stuck out a mile.
When England were knocked out of the World Cup at the semi-final stage in Russia last year, many pointed to the fact that they did not have a natural creative number 10 in their ranks – Maddison fits that description like a glove, so it seems puzzling he has never played for the Three Lions at senior level.
Abdoulaye Doucoure (French)
The powerful midfielder didn’t get his season off to a great start, netting an own goal in the 3-0 loss at home to Brighton.
However, there is a reason why he has been linked with several moves away from the club during his time in Hertfordshire.
The Frenchman scored seven goals in 37 appearances during the 2017-18 season and played the role of a classic box-to-box midfielder very well.
Last season was not quite as productive but he still managed three goals in 24 matches and helped Watford to the FA Cup final.
He is the sort of player who could be wildcard in the French squad for Euro 2020 if he has a good season.
Bjorn Engels (Belgian)
With Vincent Kompany retiring, Thomas Vermaelan now playing in Japan, and Jan Vertonghen falling out of favour at Tottenham, spaces could open up in the Belgian defence very soon.
Step forward Bjorn Engels – the 24-year-old was signed by Aston Villa from Reims in the summer and already looks like a bargain at £8million.
He was excellent in the 2-0 win against Everton last weekend and looks to have developed a solid partnership at the back with Tyrone Mings.
All it takes is a decent run of Premier League games to propel anyone onto the international stage and Engels might find himself in contention for his country soon.
Sebastien Haller (French)
Another Frenchman makes the list, which is a mark of how much talent they have, and the West ham forward could provide a different option for the world champions.
He is a big, powerful, unit up front and has already scored three in three for the Hammers after his big-money switch from Frankfurt, where he was also very productive in front of goal.
France don’t have many options that could be described as natural centre-forwards so there might be room in their squad for Haller soon.Copyright © 2020 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.