Hodgson ready to advise Southgate on Wan-Bissaka
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has revealed he is ready to “advise” England manager Gareth Southgate on Eagles right-back, Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
After coming up through the ranks at the Palace academy, Wan-Bissaka has gone on to establish himself in the first team and forge a name for himself in the Premier League.
Just how good is Wan-Bissaka? Five things you need to know…
- Following an injury to then-first choice right-back Joel Ward, AWB made his home debut against Tottenham Hotspur last season.
- He won Crystal Palace’s ‘Player of the month’ award after his first full month in professional football.
- The 21-year-old has made 35 appearances for the club, missing just one Premier League game all season.
- He has made the joint-highest (96) tackles in the Premier League this season.
- His form has led to reports that England boss Gareth Southgate is ready to fast-track AWB into the Three Lions set-up.
Speaking to reporters following Crystal Palace’s 1-1 draw at home to fellow Londoners, West Ham United, Hodgson discussed the possibility of Wan-Bissaka getting the call from Southgate to join up with the next England squad.
Southgate – a former Palace captain turned England leader – has been to see Wan-Bissaka play numerous times across the past few months, leaving Hodgson willing to advise Southgate on the right-back if any help is needed.
Hodgson said: “I’ll tell him what I think of the player. I’ll give him my honest opinion because it’s something he deserves to hear.
“At the moment he [Southgate] hasn’t done that.
“We’ve quite often talked about the English players that we have, and it has been on general terms. I’ll wait for that moment when the day comes and he actually says ‘right, I really want your serious opinion about Bissaka and how good he can possibly be at full senior international level’, and I’ll tell him what I think.”
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“It’s totally up to Southgate”
Hodgson – a former England manager himself – believes that it isn’t his place to put any pressure on Southgate to include Wan-Bissaka in his next England squad.
With many in England having varying opinions about who should be playing for their country, Hodgson believes that it is best that he leaves Southgate to make his own mind up on whether Wan-Bissaka is ready for the international stage so early in his career.
Hodgson continued: “I don’t do that, you see. The fact is what coaches should not do is to give their opinion and start pushing their players for international places.
“If he ever does want to hear my honest opinion on the player, then I’ll certainly be happy to give it to him. I won’t be contacting him to give him an opinion and I’m certainly not making any claims for anybody, Bissaka or anyone else for an England place.
“I leave that totally and utterly up to the England coach.”