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Gareth Southgate sends fitness coach to assess Aston Villa players ahead of squad selection

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Gareth Southgate sends fitness coach to assess Aston Villa players ahead of squad selection

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Gareth Southgate sends coach to assess Aston Villa stars’ fitness with Steven Gerrard championing the cause of Jacob Ramsey, Ollie Watkins and more ahead of England’s upcoming squad announcement

  • Gareth Southgate sent a fitness coach to assess condition of Aston Villa players
  • Steven Gerrard has championed the case for several players to receive call-ups
  • Southgate is set to announce his next England squad in the coming week

Gareth Southgate has taken note of Aston Villa’s impressive run with manager Steven Gerrard championing the cause of several players including young midfielder Jacob Ramsey for next week’s England squad announcement.

Southgate sent a fitness coach to Villa’s training ground last week to assess the condition of Gerrard’s players who have won their last three games, scoring nine goals and conceding none.

‘I’ll always respect what Gareth’s decision is. We’ve got players doing extremely well. I know they’ll be getting watched,’ said Gerrard, who won 114 caps for his country.

Gareth Southgate sent a fitness coach to assess Aston Villa's players ahead of his upcoming England squad selection

Gareth Southgate sent a fitness coach to assess Aston Villa’s players ahead of his upcoming England squad selection

‘For a 20-year-old, JJ (Ramsey) has been a nice big surprise for us because his level is top. He is in a right strong place and only going to get better.

‘Ollie Watkins is back in form, I know there are a few injuries in the (England) forward positions, it would be great to see him rewarded, not just for the goals but what he does for the team and how he helps carry out a gameplan.

‘Danny Ings is back scoring and playing well. I’m sure the England set-up will take note of Calum (Chambers) after his last performances.

Steven Gerrard has championed the case for a number of Aston Villa players to get called up

Steven Gerrard has championed the case for a number of Aston Villa players to get called up

‘We want as many internationals as we can. We are always here if the England staff want any feedback or detail.’

Tyrone Mings was the sole Villa player involved in England’s last game against San Marino in November and will hope to keep his place for friendlies against Switzerland and Ivory Coast at the end of this month.

Gerrard’s Villa face an interesting test at West Ham today. While Brazilian Philippe Coutinho has been grabbing recent headlines, the manager has also been impressed with midfielder John McGinn.

‘I would have loved to have played alongside him because when you look around that dressing room and go on the frontline, you know he’s with you,’ said the Villa boss.

Gerrard's side face West Ham on Sunday as they look to make it four wins from four

Gerrard’s side face West Ham on Sunday as they look to make it four wins from four

‘If we are to take this club where we want to, it’s very important we keep working with players like him. He’s invaluable.

‘There aren’t many better people, let me tell you. He’s a infectious character who is great for the group on and off the pitch. He is the real glue to everything that’s good at Aston Villa.

‘He has a lot of attributes. He commits everything, is a proper team player and has immense quality. That is a good combination to have.

‘We use a phrase “all in”. All in for the cause, and John McGinn is in for everything, and gives you more.’

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