Analysis: Does Ryan Shawcross have an England future?
Ryan Shawcross won his only England cap as a substitute in the Three Lions' 4-2 defeat by Sweden in November 2012. (Image: Press Association)

It seems like a never-ending question, why has Ryan Shawcross been overlooked once again when it comes to international call-ups?

The Stoke City captain is currently in his eighth season in the Premier League and he has become one of the most consistent defenders in the top-flight since Stoke were promoted back in 2008.

However, Shawcross has represented England's senior side just once and that was a substitute appearance in a 4-2 friendly defeat in Sweden in November 2012.

Shawcross committed to England

Despite being born in Chester, England, Shawcross is eligible to play for Wales, after he was raised in Wales and attended a Welsh school for more than five years.

Shawcross represented Wales' under-15 team; however the Stoke captain has always stated that his only international ambition is to play for England.

Speaking at a recent fans' forum, Shawcross said he made his decision "very early" that he wanted to represent England and he "won't change" his mind.

"If I don't play for them (England) again, so be it", Shawcross added.

Mark Hughes has 'no idea' why Shawcross is overlooked

Shawcross has been praised in the past by previous Stoke boss Tony Pulis and by current coach Mark Hughes, both of whom have led the calls for the Stoke captain to be included in England squad's.

Speaking at a recent fans' forum Hughes said that he had "no idea" why Shawcross has once again not been included in Roy Hodgson's squad for England's friendlies against Spain and France.

Hughes added that since he replaced Pulis as Stoke manager in May 2013 Shawcross has been "outstanding" and he has not seen "too many centre-halves that understand the role of playing at the back like Ryan."

A good option for Roy Hodgson

Shawcross is a good option for England and Roy Hodgson, especially as the centre of defence is considered to be one of the Three Lions' weakest areas since John Terry and Rio Ferdinand retired from international football and it is an area that needs addressing and England need to have more consistency in.

The 28-year-old has not only been a key player for the Potters ever since they were promoted to the Premier League, but also one of the most consistent performers in the top-flight.

People may argue that perhaps Shawcross has not got the technical ability as he is used to route one football, however that is not the case, especially since Mark Hughes has taken over at the Britannia Stadium.

Shawcross is comfortable with the ball at his feet, he also has good aerial ability and he is not afraid to get stuck into a challenge. Another attribute is his leadership skills; Shawcross has been the Stoke captain since 2010 and he marshals the defence well.

Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka have been Roy Hodgson's centre-back pairing for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 European Championships Qualifying campaign. However, Gary Cahill is approaching 30-years-old and Jagielka is 33-years-old, Shawcross is a good option to replace Cahill and Jagielka once their international careers come to an end, especially considering the lack of players who have impressed at central defence for England recently.

Why is Shawcross overlooked?

Is it because he plays for Stoke?

If Shawcross was playing as well as he has done in previous seasons but in a Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool or even a Tottenham Hotspur kit, it could be a different story.

Having said that, some of England's greats have played for their country while playing for Stoke - Sir Stanley Matthews and 1966 World Cup winner Gordon Banks spring to mind.

However, players such as George Eastham, Geoff Hurst and Peter Shilton all made their England names either before or after they arrived in the Potteries.

The suspicion has always been that playing for Stoke has gone against Shawcross, however Mark Hughes is hoping Jack Butland's England recognition can pave the way for Shawcross to join him in the national set-up.

In Shawcross' and Stoke's favour, the Potters are not acknowledged as the physical, robust team they were considered under Tony Pulis, with Hughes adopting a more technical approach.

Roy Hodgson has also shown that he chooses players in-form not necessarily players just because they play for one of the 'major' sides. The question is, though, why has Shawcross' form over recent seasons not been recognised?

Is it because England have better defenders than Shawcross?

Probably not. Shawcross has been one of the most consistent performers in the Premier League over recent seasons. 

Phil Jones and Chris Smalling performed well in England's 2-0 defeat against the reigning European Champions, Spain on Friday night. However, Jones still carries an air of panic and he is surely not a Euro 2016 starter and Smalling is slowly stepping up his claims to start in central defence in France next summer.

At 21-years-old, Everton's John Stones has already had senior England experience and is tipped to be a future England captain. Stones and Shawcross could be a good England pairing in the future, but that is of course if Hodgson still thinks the Stoke captain has an England future.

Does he have an England future?

Shawcross has only just recovered from the back surgery he had at the end of the summer, so that is probably why he has not been included in Roy Hodgson's most recent England Squad.

However, that does not explain why he has not been included in previous squads, but with senior internationals such as Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka reaching their 30's, Hodgson may look to Shawcross for experience.

Having said that, Hodgson seems to favour young talent such as John Stones, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, but arguably Shawcross offers a better option.

On his form over recent seasons he certainly deserves to have a place in future England squads, but it is just a case of waiting to see whether Hodgson picks Shawcross in the future now.

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