Aaron Cresswell has a mountain to climb if he is to earn an England call-up after David Moyes tipped the West Ham United defender for Gareth Southgate’s plans.
Moyes has been waxing lyrical over Cresswell’s start to the season at the London Stadium, which has seen the 30-year-old open eight of his nine Premier League appearances at centre-half after an early change to his role.
Cresswell’s efforts have been among the most important of any West Ham player, too, having assisted more goals (3) than anyone else in claret and blue while recording a higher number of successful tackles (13) than Angelo Ogbonna (10), Fabian Balbuena (10) and Issa Diop (2), per WhoScored.
Moyes believes Cresswell’s successful switch from left-back to centre-half has been at such a high level that the £50,000-per-week ace ought to be in contention for an England call-up, three years on from the third and last of his Three Lions appearances.
“Cresswell has been excellent for us,” Moyes told West Ham’s official club website. “He’s getting to the age of maturity where he’s understanding the game better and his reading of it, and he’s playing very well.
“Because he can play a couple of roles and he’s left-sided, it wouldn’t be a surprise to me if Gareth Southgate called him up for England. If he keeps up the form he’s in, he’ll certainly be getting watched – I have no doubt about that.”
While there can be no argument to Cresswell’s importance to West Ham’s early season form this term, the 30-year-old still has a mountain to climb if he’s to earn a fourth England cap.
Southgate awarded Cresswell his Three Lions debut from the bench in a friendly with Spain in 2016, but it was not until a World Cup qualifier against Lithuania in October 2017 that the Irons ace earned his first competitive outing and first start.
Cresswell has not been seen on the international stage since those 90-minutes at left-midfield against Edgaras Jankauskas’ side, either, despite Southgate handing England debuts to centre-backs Fikayo Tomori, Joe Gomez, Tyrone Mings and Conor Coady since.
Tomori could easily be regarded as less deserving of a future England call-up than Cresswell at present, having only played 44 minutes of Premier League football this season, but the Chelsea man is not the one the West Ham ace is truly contending with.
Although Chris Basham (23) and Ben White (21) are the only English centre-halves to have recorded a higher number of successful tackles than Cresswell (15) in the top-flight this term, White (17), Harry Maguire (16), Basham (16), Adam Webster (13), Michael Keane (12) and Kyle Bartley (9) all have more interceptions (8), per SofaScore.
Eric Dier (44), Ezri Konsa (42), Jamaal Lascelles (37), Basham (34), Bartley (34), Maguire (31) and Mings (30) also have more clearances than Cresswell (29), who has blocked fewer shots (4) than Lascelles (9), Dier (7), Bartley (7), James Tarkowski (6), Mings (6), White (6) and Konsa (5).
Cresswell’s efforts will likely have caught Southgate’s attention, but are not yet at the level where he is nailed on for a return to England duty three years on from last representing his country.