BT Sport pundit and former Southampton manager Glenn Hoddle has tipped striker Danny Ings to make the England squad for this summer’s European Championships.
Assessing England’s options for the upcoming tournament with fellow BT pundits Joe Cole and Rio Ferdinand on Between the Lines, Hoddle had Ings as one of the 26 players that he would choose right now.
Neither Ferdinand or Cole picked Ings, whilst none of the three had Saints captain James Ward-Prowse in their selection.
Both Saints men will surely be in with a chance of making Gareth Southgate’s group when England’s squad is officially announced on Tuesday 25th May, with Ward-Prowse the most likely of both to be called up.
Both Southampton players give England something different
Looking at Ward-Prowse and Danny Ings in comparison to their England counterparts, they really do provide something that is not already in the group that Gareth Southgate is likely to choose from.
In the midfield department, options look to be split right down the middle in terms of their roles. Half are renowned for their attacking quality, and the other half are defensively-minded players who screen the back four or dictate play from deep.
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Whilst it took Ward-Prowse a while to evolve into the player he is now, this season has seen him hit a whole different level of form. He effectively provides Saints with everything from his central position.
He has scored nine goals and provided seven assists, which sees the best numbers of his career so far recorded. These have mainly come from set-pieces and penalties, but the fact that he would then bring his dead ball abilities to international level too means another attacking string added to England’s bow.
Importantly he matches the attacking output with cover for his defence and is amongst some of the most consistent pressers in the Premier League at the moment because of playing under Ralph Hasenhuttl. The Austrian has transformed his player’s all-round game since arriving back in December 2019.
Also, Ward-Prowse is Southgate’s man if the England boss wants consistent fitness. He is the first top-flight player to play every minute in consecutive seasons and has played in 109 straight Saints games since his first start under Hasenhuttl.
Ings has proven himself to be a superb finisher and would add a goal poaching option if England need to throw another forward on late in a game. Compared to the other strikers who are likely to be called up too, the Saints man has a comparable record in terms of the top-flight goals he has scored in the last two seasons with 36.
Saints have benefitted hugely from having him in their team and he can often create a chance for himself from very little whilst also combining well with teammates around him.
Southgate announces his squad on Tuesday and it remains to be seen whether there will be a Saints face in the group for the delayed Euro 2020.