Former Newcastle United striker Craig Bellamy has spoken out about club captain Jamaal Lascelles this week, claiming that he does not deserve an England call up at present as he has not kept up his good form for long enough to warrant being selected.
The 23-year old – who is the leagues youngest skipper – has had superb start to life back in the top flight, putting in some commanding defensive displays, including a goal-saving clearance to deny Tammy Abraham at Swansea, as well as scoring two match winning headers against Swansea and Stoke.
His performance as a footballer and captain, both on and off the pitch, has been magnificent thus far, but that has not been enough for Bellamy, who feels he must maintain this form if he wants to gain a call up to the England squad in the future.
Here’s what Craig said when speaking on Sky Sports’ ‘The Debate’ this week:
“He’s started well this season. I’d like to see a little bit more,” said Bellamy.
“It’s England again, as soon as a player’s doing well, he automatically should be called up to the England squad.
“I’d like to see him maintain the good form he’s enjoying at this present moment. I’d like to see it a little bit longer and then who knows?”
Probably a fair assessment here from Bellamy, however I would question how the likes of Harry Winks is getting a call-up to Southgate’s squad if you must consistently show ‘good form’ to make the cut. Both he and a Fabian Delph have barely started a game for their clubs this season yet were picked.
Back to Lascelles – I don’t think anyone genuinely expected him to be called up to the latest England squad. Just weeks ago, his ability to cut it in the Premier League was in question and whilst he’s been a revelation and one of the top performing centre-backs in recent weeks, it would be premature of us to get carried away after a few match winning performances.