With Gareth Southgate’s England squad close to being announced, one Aston Villa man who the Three Lions boss should absolutely be bringing into the fold, is Matty Cash.
England have got three World Cup qualifiers to come at the end of this month, and reports in recent days and weeks have suggested that out of Villa’s English contingent, the main two new boys could well be Ezri Konsa and Matt Targett.
All three of Villa’s defenders, and of course the already established Tyrone Mings, should be names Southgate surely has to be familiar with given the Midlands club’s outstanding performances in the Premier League this season – Dean Smith’s side currently lie in ninth in the table.
Speaking just back in January, Gabriel Agbonlahor lauded the £17m-rated Cash, urging the England boss to be keeping an eye on him and the others. He said: “I just hope Gareth Southgate is getting to see as many Villa games as he can because I feel Konsa, as well as Matty Cash and Matt Targett, are going under the radar a little.”
As per Whoscored, Cash has averaged an impressive 2.6 tackles and 2.3 interceptions per game in the Premier League this campaign, both of which rank him first among all of Villa’s players – and by quite some distance too.
But he’s not just a reliable force defensively either, also progressing as an attacking outlet for Smith too. His average of 0.8 key passes per game ranks him seventh for Villa, and is fourth on the list for crosses per match with 0.7.
And, when you compare those numbers to a couple of England’s other mainstays at right-back over the past couple of years, the Villa man does come out looking good.
The likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker have all averaged significantly fewer tackles and interceptions per match than Cash, while the Villa man also favours better offensively compared to the Man City full-back.
It’s no surprise that former Premier League striker Kevin Phillips has dubbed him “sensational“, while adding: “Cash has come in and he has been flawless. He has taken to the club like a duck to water. You have to give credit to the player and the recruitment department. They have obviously done their homework. He has been one of their shining lights this season.”
So while Konsa, and even Targett, seem to be at the forefront of a potential call-up to the England squad, Southgate should seriously consider bringing in Cash and unleashing him on the international scene.