With the European Championships swiftly approaching, England manager Gareth Southgate has some selection headaches to consider. The upcoming team selection for the World Cup qualifiers next week will be indicative of the summer squad, but not final. One name garnering tremendous support for the call-up is Craig Dawson, a Watford defender on loan to West Ham United.
Craig Dawson England Call-Up is Possible But Not Likely
Craig Dawson is in Fine Form
Dawson has beyond impressed since making his inaugural West Ham first-team appearance at the end of 2020. In 13 Premier League appearances, the defender has kept six clean sheets while Angelo Ogbonna has been injured. The former West Bromwich Albion star has also contributed three league goals and has played every league minute since his first for the Irons.
The 30-year-old’s impact has helped West Ham maintain the form which sees them competing for the Champions League places. He is now only two starts away from triggering the buy-clause on his loan deal, as initially reported by The Athletic.
He was unfortunate to see his own goal being the difference in a Champions League place six-pointer against Manchester United. Nonetheless, supporters have been calling for ‘The Warrior’ to make the trip to the Euros. His form certainly suggests a spot would not be undeserved.
Matthew Upson Has His Say
As Upson told The Athletic, Dawson’s style of play is not what Southgate looks for in a centre-back. Upson, who made 21 appearances for the Three Lions in the middle of defence and scored in the 2010 World Cup against Germany, believes Dawson’s spotlight is deserved, but that does not mean a call is necessarily imminent.
Upson explained: “Dawson’s domestic form has been great, and you can put him up there with a list of players who are playing well in his position. But then you break down the criteria of how Gareth Southgate wants to play.
“There’s a huge amount of pressure when it comes to playing for England and right now, there’s a need to be really comfortable with the ball.”
Dawson’s strong-suit is his aerial ability and firm, well-timed challenges. But, he is not the best with the ball at his feet. If he were playing in Upson’s time, then perhaps a call would certainly be in the cards. Dawson is still what one would consider a “non-modern, traditional” defender. Southgate might feel as if other, more proven players at the international level and better passers are the safest, smartest bet.