Jason Puncheon believes Rickie Lambert would be a certainty for England if he was at a top six side.Southampton winger Jason Puncheon believes his team-mate Rickie Lambert deserves a call-up to the England squad, after a great debut season in the Premier League.
This is the 31-year-old’s first year in the top flight, having been a prolific scorer in the lower leagues throughout his career, and Southampton have benefited greatly from his ability to find the back of the net, which looks now to have secured Premier League survival.
He has so far not got a call from England manager Roy Hodgson, but Puncheon believes he would be a certainty for the international squad if he were playing for a top six club.
Despite being the top English scorer in the league, Lambert remains unnoticed, while the likes of Danny Welbeck and Jermain Defoe continue to earn call ups, despite having had poorer seasons than the cultured left footer.
Puncheon feels for his colleague, and also feels England are missing out by not adding Lambert to their armoury.
“If Rickie played for a top five or six club who knows if he would make the England squad,” Puncheon told Sky Sports.
“I’m sure Rickie feels it’s unfair he’s not been picked so far given how good his form has been but that’s just the way it is. It’s unfortunate for him and it’s a shame for England because Rickie could do a job for his country.
“There is so much more to his game than goals. A lot of people don’t realise he is a fabulous footballer too.
“He’s got great feet, excellent movement and reads the game really well. He’s not just a targetman, he’s a very intelligent player.”
This time last year there were similar calls for Norwich’s Grant Holt to play for England, although the striker has failed to reproduce the same kind of form in his second season in the Premier League.