Former Aston Villa midfielder Lee Hendrie has exclusively told Football FanCast that he’s baffled as to why Ezri Konsa wasn’t named in Gareth Southgate’s latest England squad.
Konsa, whose won seven caps for the Under-21s, has been one of the Premier League’s most consistent defenders since lockdown, but wasn’t included in Southgate’s 26-man party for World Cup qualifiers against San Marino, Albania and Poland.
His Villa teammate Tyrone Mings was selected, along with Harry Maguire, John Stones, Conor Coady and Tottenham’s Eric Dier as England centre-backs.
Konsa has started all but three of Aston Villa’s 28 Premier League matches this season, and Hendrie, who was capped once against Czech Republic in 1998, cannot believe that the 23-year-old was overlooked.
Hendrie told Football FanCast: “Konsa has been excellent. The times that Mings hasn’t performed, Konsa has been an outstanding defender.
“Do I feel like he was due to get an England call-up? I feel like the squad that was selected, I totally do. He’s the kind of defender that puts his body on the line.
“And I feel why he wasn’t in the current England squad, I am a bit baffled. He has been possibly one of the top performers over recent weeks, so why shouldn’t he be granted a chance of being involved with the England set-up.
“If you’re comparing him to [Eric] Dier, I think Konsa has been far better.”
This does feel like a case of big team favouritism. Konsa has been outstanding this term, whilst Dier has struggled for consistency throughout the campaign, making a host of errors, which has led to him being dropped by Jose Mourinho.
If Konsa keeps performing at his current level, surely Southgate won’t continue to ignore him ahead of the Euro’s.