Out Chambers, In Clyne. Things on the up for Nathaniel.
Roy Hodgson should probably have had a season ticket at St Mary’s last season. Arguably, to learn how to get a team to play attractive and high tempo football, despite being the underdog, but mainly because of its plethora of English talent. Move forward a year and all three of Southampton’s England World Cup stars have moved on and the promising Calum Chambers has left too. With Saints replacing these players with Non-English talent, surely Hodgson’s visits will be less frequent.
How wrong people have been proven. The acquisition of England ‘keeper Fraser Forster brought him back, but once there he was rewarded with yet more young English potential. I’ve spoken before about James Ward Prowse, and Jack Cork’s performances are beginning to impress. It is, however, the Saints full backs where the current media attention lies.
Having left Southampton for Arsenal, Calum Chambers gained almost instant International recognition, and in the process leapfrogging himself over the man he shared right back duties with last season, Nathaniel Clyne.
As a nation we are currently rich in this area, but with both Glen Johnson and Kyle Naughton having injury problems, it is now the time to look at the next generation. By moving to a top four club, Chambers, rightfully, got his chance and his place in the Under-21’s is probably as much about getting game time, as it is being dropped. John Stones has shown his is ready, but his Everton performances suggest he may be the answer to the Nations central defensive issues. So who is next in line?
Step forward Clyne, a promising teenager at Crystal Palace, who finally got his move to the Premiership in 2012. Having played his part in the Saints dramatic rise in fortunes, this season he has made the right back slot his own. Unlike Stones, he offers Hodgson a real attacking threat on the overlap. He is a quick, deceptively powerful modern defender, with a work rate and desire that has been a vital aspect of a defence, currently the meanest in the Premiership. His two goals already this season, including the stunning winner against Arsenal, proves this young man has a complete game.
Competition for this role will be high, and now he is in the squad, it is up to him to prove he deserves to be there. If he can transfer his club form to country, I see no reason why he shouldn’t.
One extra note, with Hodgson seemingly picking players currently on form, as another member of the Saints solid defence, how long before Ryan Bertrand gets his call up?