Five Premier League players who've impressed in the friendlies


With the international friendlies wrapped up, we assembled a list of five Premier League players who has impressed for their countries. Have a look:

Dimitri Payet

It has been nine months since the last time Payet played for the country, when Deschamps called him into the France squad for the friendlies. The West Ham playmaker made up for his lost time with a performance that cemented his claim for a place in the French roster for the Euros. He was brilliant in France’s 3-2 win against Holland where he troubled the opposition defence with his quick, direct running. From there he took his campaign to the spectacular by curling a 37-yard free-kick into the net just two minutes after getting substituted into the match against Russia.

A word of approval :

“Every time he touched the ball, he made something happen. He has enormous qualities and made a massive effort. He is on top form,” said the coach Didier Deschamps, “ He is confirming his good form. I will need him.”

Jamie Vardy

Leicester City’s rags-to-riches hero Jamie Vardy continued his brilliant form into the international stage by scoring his first goal for England with a cheeky back-heel against Germany and then doubling his tally with his first ever goal inside Wembley in the game against Netherlands. His impressive all-round performance, whether as a starter or an impact substitute, has surely strengthened his case for an inclusion in Roy Hodgson’s side for Euros.

A word of approval :

The biggest of praise for Vardy came from an unexpected corner—Rooney’s son. The youngster asked his father for an England shirt with Vardy’s name on the back— the number 10 shirt that Rooney still hopes to fill in France this summer. “My lad has asked me to get him and England kit with Vardy on the back,” said Rooney whose place in the national team is threatened by the rise of Kane and Vardy.

Delle Alli

The Tottenham wondered Delle Alli further enhanced his burgeoning credentials with a wonderful performance in the Berlin friendly where England came down from two goals down to beat Germany 3-2. Despite earning his first cap only in November, the 19-year old had already established his position in the national squad, and was rested for England’s loss against Netherlands.

A word of approval :

England coach Roy Hodgson believes that Delle Alli can become his Bryan Robson for England, as he says, ”He could do anything in that midfield position. I think he can be box-to-box, a number 10, if you like to call it that, or a number six. He could be any of them because he has genuine all-round ability. He can challenge, he can run, he can fight for the ball, he can see a pass, he can score a goal. You mention Bryan Robson – that’s the player I would like to think he could become, but don’t forget we’re talking about a 19-year-old.”

N’Golo Kante

Kante’s impressive performances at the heart of Leicester City midfield earned him a call-up to the France squad, and the all-action midfielder started it in style by opening the scoring just eight minutes into his full debut for Les Bleus. He, though, will have to compete with the likes of Paul Pogba, Blaise Matuidi, Yohan Cabaye and Lassana Diarra for a place in the France squad for the Euros.

A word of approval :

“It is not easy on your first start, but he did some very good things… He has carried on at international level what he has been doing with his club,” said France coach Didier Deschamps in his post-match conference.

Paddy McNair

With Northern Ireland missing several key players in the midfield, Paddy McNair was utilised by manger Michael O’Neill in a holding berth behind skipper Steven Davis and Oliver Norwood. The Manchester United youngster excelled in his new position during the friendlies which brought out several pundits claiming it as his best position rather than the centre-back or full-back slots he filled for Van Gaal’s United.

A word of approval :

“I was really pleased with him. He was a physical presence but he showed his quality on the ball. He just needs to get used to playing at this level. I enjoyed him in there in that midfield with Davis and Norwood,” said the Northern Ireland boss.