‘Who hell Wheater?’ asks Middlesbrough team-mate

He may have been axed from the final 23-man squad to face France on Wednesday, but Middlesbrough’s David Wheater is having a season to remember. The central defender has been one of the outstanding performers for his club this season, attracting the attention of Fabio Capello who included him in the provisional 30-player group at the back end of last week.

The youngster has come a long way in a season, especially considering he was on loan at Darlington last term. Indeed, his meteoric rise is such that the Daily Mail report Boro team-mate Gary O’Neil didn’t know he even existed before arriving at the Riverside Stadium in the summer.

He said: “David’s had a brilliant season, he’s been fantastic for us.

“To be honest, I hadn’t really heard of him at all before I came up to Middlesbrough.

“He’s come through in a massive way and I think everyone in the country knows who he is now.”

It’s just a shame that Wheater plays in a position where England appear to be strongest, with Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, Jonathan Woodgate and Joleon Lescott all ahead of the young scamp in the pecking order. Will he have to move on from the north-east to improve his international chances or is he better off staying put for now?

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