This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Gareth Southgate has a number of selection headaches as England manager.
However, there may not be a tougher position to pick than centre-back as the Three Lions seemingly have an abundance of top-class centre-halves to choose from.
Harry Maguire is the world’s most expensive defender, John Stones has been a key man for one of the best teams in Premier League history, Tyrone Mings has consistently been brilliant for Aston Villa and Fikayo Tomori has become a key part of Frank Lampard’s Chelsea side.
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Glenn Hoddle, though, made it very clear who he thinks should be playing at centre-half for the national team.
“A little bit indifferent, a couple of sloppy mistakes he’s made. He’s being tested a little more than he was against Bulgaria, but he’s just got to settle down, keep it simple and do his job defensively and keep the ball ticking. It’s not too complicated for a defender these days.” Hoddle said during commentary on ITV’s coverage of the England vs Kosovo game (17/11).
Clive Tyldesley probed Hoddle for a little bit more as he said: “You feel that there’s a real opportunity for somebody to stake a claim at the heart of the England defence in the months ahead”
Hoddle responded: “I like the lad from Chelsea, Tomori. He’s one that Gareth should be looking at, he’s got Champions League football as well, and that’s a real test defensively and on the ball he’s capable.”
Hoddle, the former England manager, is a man who knows a thing or two about picking players for international duty.
For a former Three Lions boss to say this about Tomori is telling of just how good he has been for the Stamford Bridge outfit this term.
Whether or not Southgate is thinking along the same lines remains to be seen, but these comments from Hoddle suggest the Chelsea enforcer is beginning to command a solid reputation.