With Euro 2016 looming and the squads being announced, there are undoubtedly going to be a number of high-profile absentees from the competition this summer. With that in mind, WhoScored.com go through the list of their highest-rated Premier League performers (from Europe) to miss out for their national team for one reason or another…
10) Robert Huth – Germany (7.15)
Alongside captain Wes Morgan (he’s Jamaican, Harry), Robert Huth played a starring role at the heart of the Leicester defence following his arrival from Stoke City 18 months ago. The Foxes’ welcome title win was ultimately built on a solid defensive foundation, with Huth exceptional at the back. However, having not turned out for Germany since 2009, the experienced centre-back was hardly expected to make the squad for Euro 2016, yet his performances for Leicester – 7.4 clearances and 2.2 interceptions per game – suggest he is still more than capable of plying his trade on the international stage.
9) Simon Francis – England (7.16)
Without an England cap to his name, Simon Francis was never going to make the squad for Euro 2016, despite an impressive debut season in the Premier League. Under Eddie Howe, the 31-year-old played a key role in the Cherries’ mission to consolidate a place in England’s top tier, with his versatility a real asset having played both centre-back and right-back this campaign.
8) Younes Kaboul – France (7.18)
While his performances often left supporters scratching their heads, Younes Kaboul’s form under Sam Allardyce played an essential role for Sunderland as they staved off relegation from the Premier League once more. A proactive defender to say the least, only Ashley Williams (8.7) made more clearances per game than Kaboul (8.6) in England’s top tier this term, with the former Spurs defender forming a solid partnership with January arrival Lamine Kone.
7) Hector Bellerin – Spain (7.20)
Vicente Del Bosque opted for experience over youthful exuberance at right-back for his Spain squad this summer with Juanfran expected to start in defence. That isn’t to say Hector Bellerin will never receive his call-up, with the 21-year-old Arsenal defender forced to make do with a place in the vastly talented U-21 squad. However, it won’t be long before Bellerin is a permanent fixture in the senior squad, with the youngster more than capable of carrying out the necessary defensive and offensive duties that come with playing at full-back.
6) Phil Jagielka – England (7.20)
In what proved to be a season to forget for Everton – Roberto Martinez was relieved of his duties prior to the final game of the campaign – their captain failed to make the cut for England to compound his misery. Phil Jagielka was a regular under Roy Hodgson in qualifying, yet injury restricted the 33-year-old to just 21 Premier League starts this season. Much of the shock was centred on the inclusion of Marcus Rashford, yet Jagielka’s exclusion certainly raised eyebrows.
5) Nacho Monreal – Spain (7.26)
The other half of Arsenal’s commendable full-back pairing, Nacho Monreal was another notable absentee, regardless of his lack of international experience. Monreal has been a solid if unspectacular performer in the Arsenal defence since establishing himself as first-choice left-back under Arsene Wenger, yet an average of 2.1 tackles and 2.9 interceptions was not enough to convince Del Bosque that a call up was warranted.
4) Troy Deeney – England (7.28)
The uncapped English striker enjoyed an impressive debut campaign in the Premier League as Watford consolidated their place among England’s best early on. While the Hornets’ form dipped, Troy Deeney’s performances suggested a call up was on the cards, only for Roy Hodgson to opt against. 13 league goals and seven assists helped return a WhoScored.com rating of 7.28, while 235 aerial duels won – more than any other Premier League player this season – highlights Deeney’s physical qualities, which would have provided a suitable Plan B for England in France this summer.
3) Michail Antonio – England (7.35)
It took quite some time for Michail Antonio to force his way into the West Ham starting XI, yet it was worth the wait. Injury may have forced Slaven Bilic’s hand, but Antonio’s form suggested the Croat should have fielded the summer arrival from the moment he arrived. Capable of playing at either right-back or on the right flank, the 26-year-old has taken to the rigours of Premier League football like a duck to water. Eight goals and three assists is a fantastic return for a player, who failed to make an impact until the New Year, which – with Euro 2016 not looming – could well have convinced Hodgson to take a chance on the former Nottingham Forest man. Antonio’s form this calendar year shows Mark Noble is not West Ham’s only English player deserving of international recognition.
2) Christian Eriksen – Denmark (7.45)
We miss Denmark being good at international football. There, we’ve said it. But any country that finishes behind Albania in qualifying doesn’t deserve to be at a major tournament, and Denmark then went and lost to
Sweden Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the playoffs. Eriksen contributed the sum total of no goals in Denmark’s qualifying campaign, but it would still have been lovely to see him in France. The playmaker enjoyed a supreme season with Tottenham, scoring six goals and providing 13 assists. Only two Premier League players created more chances than Eriksen, who gained a reputation for effort to match his guile.
1) Virgil van Dijk – Netherlands (7.56)
Had Netherlands progressed to Euro 2016, chances are that Virgil van Dijk would have been one of the first names on the team sheet. The Dutchman enjoyed a fantastic debut Premier League season following his summer switch from Celtic to Southampton, maximising both his hugely impressive reading of the game and athleticism to form a solid centre-back partnership with Saints skipper Jose Fonte. 163 aerial duels won and seven WhoScored man of the match awards were both the third best in England’s top tier this season, though Saints will perhaps be counting their blessings as they look to retain the services of the gargantuan centre-back.
All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com, where you can find yet more stats, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings. You can follow all the scores, statistics, live player and team ratings with the new free-to-download WhoScored iOS app.