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‘Oh Scotty Sinclair, oh he is so wonderful,’ the Celtic fans sing each time the 28-year old takes the field for the Bhoys. And rightly so, given the impact he has had on the team since completing his move from Aston Villa last summer.
However, he continues to be overlooked for an international call-up by England manager Gareth Southgate. Speaking after he announced the Three Lions’ squad for the final two World Cup qualifying fixtures against Slovenia and Lithuania.
“I had a conversation with Brendan (Rodgers, Celtic boss) about him (Sinclair) at the end of last season,” Southgate said, as quoted by BBC Sport.
“He’s a good player but we have good quality in that area of the pitch and at the moment I think he is just below the level of what we have already got.
“I would be happy to have that conversation (what he needs to do to break through) with him but I don’t think it’s appropriate to talk about performance aspects in public.”
The 28-year old former Swansea City and Manchester City man has been slaying the defences in Scotland in the last year or so. Ever since joining the Hoops from Villa in the summer of 2016, Sinclair has gone onto score 35 goals in 66 games and has also notched up 17 assists. Last season, the winger finished the season as the top-scorer in the Scottish Premiership and played an important role as Celtic went on to complete a domestic treble.
Sinclair has already netted 10 goals this season in 16 games in the ongoing campaign, which makes him the second-highest English goal-scorer in any top-flight, only behind Harry Kane who has hit 11 for Tottenham Hotspur. The 28-year old has assisted six goals as well, meaning he has been directly involved in a goal every 80.88 minutes this season. Yet, Southgate continues to ignore him, and instead, has made some very questionable selections in his squad.
Jermain Defoe, who has managed to score just one goal in eight games for Bournemouth this season has been named in the squad, along with Daniel Sturridge who, again, has managed just a single strike this term for Liverpool.
However, the biggest shock selection had to be that of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The 24-year old earned a big money move from Arsenal to Liverpool this summer, but has been absolutely abysmal to say the least. So, it is quite shocking to see him in the squad. This bring into picture, the question of whether the selection was made on merit or on the size of the club one plays for.
Sinclair might be playing in a league of lower level than the Premier League, but the sheer amount of goals that he is scoring from the left flank warrants a call-up to the England national team, more so when the likes of Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jesse Lingard are being given a chance.
The 28-year old definitely has the talent and has played for England’s under 17,18,19,20 and 21’s. He was also a part of the Great Britain’s 2012 Olympic campaign in London.
Given that he can play as a striker or a winger and considering that just Ox, Lingard and Raheem Sterling are the players in the England squad who can play in the wide areas, the 28-year old should definitely have been considered for the upcoming qualifiers, more so considering that the Three Lions’ spot for the mega event in Russia is almost confirmed.