Icelandic winger stays put
(VisionHaus / Getty Images)

Although most football is returning from coronavirus in a positive fashion, not everything is back to normal with some players still missing out on action.

One of those players is Johann Berg Gudmundsson who has decided not to join up with his international teammates.

The decision is not a surprise either with Iceland close to being put on the 'red list', which would mean if Gudmundsson entered the country he would have to self-isolate for two weeks on his return to the UK.

Gudmundsson has also recently come back from injury and may not want to add the extra stress from international fixtures. 

  • Looking Forward

The Icelandic international has missed a lot of football recently due to a thigh muscle strain. In total, Gudmundsson made 13 appearances this season including the club's draw against Liverpool. However, the season before, Gudmundsson played 36 times in all competitions, including in Burnley's short Europa League stint.

The news of him not travelling with Iceland will come as music to Sean Dcyhe's ears. The Burnley boss recently lost Jeff Hendrick due to his contract expiring and will now need Gudmundsson to be able to play most of the clubs games this season. 

In a recent interview with Burnley, Dyche Said: “I think this group is a really good group and I think it’s been proven - 10th-place finish last season." It is now up to Gudmundsson to make sure he becomes a regular part of that group and provides the type of numbers that the fans know he can produce.

And with Hendrick gone, the 29-year-old could make that position, right-midfield, his own this season. 

  • The Call-ups

Gudmundsson hasn't gone, but others have travelled for international duty from the Burnley squad. The latest call ups are Nick Pope, Bailey Peacock-Farrell and Robbie Brady, who have all been selected for the UEFA Nations League fixtures by their respective countries. 

Pope had an incredible season last season, keeping the second most clean sheets and narrowly missing out on the Golden Glove on the final day. This has clearly caught the eye of Gareth Southgate who gave Pope a deserved call up. Pope joins Jordan Pickford and Dean Henderson as England's keepers. Many fans will argue that Pope should be the nations number one and his case is compelling. 

Pope has 181 career appearances and has conceded 186 goals whilst keeping 77 clean sheets. Pickford, who is prone to making mistakes, has made 310 career appearances, conceding 426 goals and has kept 93 clean sheets. Finally, Henderson has the best record with 150 career appearances, conceding 136 goals and keeping 61 clean sheets. However, Henderson has yet to make a first team international appearances and lacks the experience.

The second Burnley keeper to be called up was Peacock-Farrell, who has joined up with the Northern Ireland team. Peacock-Farrell has been capped 13 times and could also claim the No.1 shirt for his country. 

The last player called up was winger Robbie Brady, who has been capped 46 times by the Republic of Ireland. Brady has also suffered with injuries during his time at Burnley but will be looking to be a key figure of Stephen Kenny's Ireland setup. 

  • The Unfortunate Ones

Despite the success of the three called up, it hasn't all been plain sailing for some of the Clarets' international stars.

To many peoples dismay, James Tarkowski was left out of the England squad, despite statistically being one of the best defenders in Europe whilst Dwight McNeil was left out of the England U21's squad due to not fitting into Aidy Boothroyd's style of play.

Both these decisions have been criticised as many fans believe Southgate is sticking to a bias to select players form 'top six' clubs.

Just across the pond Burnley's two Irish centre-halves, Jimmy Dunne and Kevin Long, were left out the Ireland squad with two Sheffield United defenders, Enda Stevens and John Egan, and one Brighton centre-half, Shane Duffy, being picked ahead of them.

Whilst over on the continent Matej Vydra was surprisingly left out of the Czech Republic squad as the Czech manger, Jaroslav Šilhavý, elected to pick only one striker for this round of fixtures.

Although it is disappointing to see to see so many deserving Burnley players left out of their respective squads, it does provide the club's fans hope knowing none of these players will risk getting injured and that they will be ready to go for Burnley's first game of the season against Leicester City on September 19th.

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