Sky Sports pundit Paul Robinson has suggested Gareth Southgate could award Everton duo Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Mason Holgate their senior England debuts in this month’s international friendlies.
The Three Lions face Italy and Denmark in preparation for this summer’s European Championships, and Southgate is set to be without Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford through a back injury and Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane as a result of the England captain’s hamstring issue.
Robinson believes Calvert-Lewin ought to be the next in line to lead England’s attack given his tremendous form under Carlo Ancelotti, which has seen the 22-year-old strike eight of his 13 Premier League goals for the season.
Holgate, meanwhile, has recently been rewarded with a new, five-year contract, said to be worth in excess of £70,000-per-week, after becoming an integral part of our backline with 19 starts in our last 20 top-flight fixtures.
Neither Holgate nor Calvert-Lewin have yet featured for England’s first-team, though made various outings on the junior international scene and Robinson would not be surprised if Southgate comes calling in 2020.
“[They are] players that had a lot to prove at Everton and they have really come to the fore [this season],” Robinson told Football Insider.
Should Southgate call up DCL or Holgate this month?
“Holgate has found his feet at centre-half after his loan [spell with West Brom]. Dominic Calvert-Lewin did not start the season well, but he has been reformed completely under Ancelotti.
“Given England’s injury list, he is the next in line and I would not be surprised to see Mason Holgate get a call-up either.”
Southgate has observed Holgate in action already this season and was said to have been impressed by the defender’s performances against Manchester City, Brighton and West Ham, leading to speculation of a maiden call-up against Italy and Denmark.
Holgate’s versatility through his ability to also play at right-back – where he featured 22 times last season in all – was noted to be a standout quality of the 23-year-old ahead of Euro 2020, too.
As for Calvert-Lewin, he likely faces competition from Southampton’s Danny Ings and Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham to be the key stand-in for £135million-rated Kane in Southgate’s plans.
Ings has scored 15 goals in 29 Premier League games this term, but has only found the back of the net once in his last seven top-flight appearances.
Abraham, meanwhile, has 13 goals in 25 league games and is targeting a return from an ankle injury in time for England’s upcoming friendlies, having been forced to sit out three of Chelsea’s last four league fixtures.