By Villa News Speaking to Dan Bardell

17th Nov, 2023 | 6:13pm

Aston Villa: Dan Bardell thrilled at better-late-than-never update for Ezri Konsa

We’re delighted to welcome Sky Sports journalist Dan Bardell as our exclusive Aston Villa columnist as each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at the club…

Dan Bardell believes Ezri Konsa’s call-up to the England national team has been “a long time coming” after he was added to the squad for the upcoming internationals.

The 26-year-old was called up by Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate on Monday (13 November) after Brighton defender Lewis Dunk was forced to withdraw from the squad [The Guardian].

The Villa centre-back will be looking to earn his first cap when his country takes on Malta and North Macedonia over the course of the next few days.

Bardell is hoping Konsa is handed the chance to impress during his time with the England squad in order to “throw his hat into the ring” to be included in the squad for the European Championships next summer.

Speaking exclusively to Villa News, Bardell said: “It’s been a long time coming. You could probably argue that it should have come sooner, but over the last 12 months under Emery, he’s been absolutely brilliant.

“I just hope that he gets some minutes because Southgate will quite often bed a player in when they’re new to the international setup and not actually give them any minutes.

“But with it being two games that don’t really offer anything for England to play for as they’ve already qualified, I’m hoping that Konsa will get a chance to impress and get a chance to throw his hat into the ring for the fourth England centre-back space.

“We don’t really know yet whether it’s a 23 or a 26-man squad, but Stones and Maguire and I think Gueye is the third choice now, they’re locked in that squad. Then Konsa’s probably fighting it out with Dunk and Tomori to be that fourth centre-back.

“I hope it’s a battle he can win because he’s done all the right things because Southgate likes it when people come up through the England age groups and Konsa has done that.

“He’s bided his time and is a good age now, he’s playing for a team that’s doing really well and is top five in the Premier League. He’s done everything he can do, it’s maybe come a bit later than it should’ve done, but I do think it rounds off the last 12 months quite nicely.” 

In other Aston Villa news, a broadcaster has predicted an Emery problem soon after a “massive” development.