Over the years, Chelsea have been able to establish a long-lasting tradition of being represented by a strong English core while on international duty for their country and the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers, which are the ‘sequel’ to UEFA’s new “Nations League” concept, are no different. Our very own Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have been called up by Gareth Southgate and will be looking to once again impress the gaffer ahead of next year’s tournament.
Loftus-Cheek may have found it hard to find opportunities under new coach Maurizio Sarri since the summer, especially due to his recurring and persisting back problems, but the Chelsea academy product has always impressed when given a chance. While the same can’t necessarily be said about Barkley, whose inconsistencies remain his Achilles’ heel, the midfielder has developed into a solid option in the middle of the park, particularly in the defensive phase.
The inclusion of the pair wasn’t the main talking point, however, as the first time involvement of West Ham’s Declan Rice, who recently snubbed the Republic of Ireland in favour of an actual footballing future on the international stage, caused some debate due to the likes of James Maddison or Harry Winks being omitted, whose inclusion would have been equally debatable. In any case, England will first face the Czech Republic and then Montenegro next week and, as Chelsea fans, some game time for Loftus-Cheek would be very much welcomed.
Whether or not people agree with Southgate’s choices and his inclusion of Barkley and Loftus-Cheek, from a Chelsea perspective, it’s good to see the duo continue a long-lasting tradition which recently reached its apex with the likes of John Terry, Frank Lampard and co. While the current pair may not ever reach the heights of the aforementioned Blues’ legends, it’s nevertheless definitely a positive sign to see them feature for their national side and we should look forward to watching them shine on the international stage.
Written by Jimmy Funnell. Follow me on Twitter under @JimmyFunnellCFC to keep up-to-date with all the latest Chelsea news and hot-takes!