Sam Allardyce lining up Middlesbrough's Ben Gibson for England debut after strong start

Gibson has adjusted well to the Premier League, impressing Sam Allardyce, who has pencilled him in for an England debut in November if not before

Jack Pitt-Brooke
Wednesday 21 September 2016 13:14
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Ben Gibson, centre, and teammates celebrate their shoot-out victory
Ben Gibson, centre, and teammates celebrate their shoot-out victory

Sam Allardyce is planning to give Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson his England debut before the end of the year.

The new England manager is a long-standing admirer of Gibson, and believes that he could provide important competition to John Stones and Gary Cahill at centre-back. He is also left-footed, which in a country dominated by right-footed defenders, means that he could provide balance at the back.

Gibson has started all five of Middlesbrough’s Premier League games so far and has been closely watched by Allardyce and Sammy Lee. They are currently weighing up whether to select Gibson for England’s two World Cup qualifiers in October: Malta at home on Saturday 8 and Slovenia away on Tuesday 11.

While Allardyce is still monitoring Gibson’s performances in the Premier League, his chances are in the balance of being involved next month. If he is not selected in October, but continues to impress for Middlesbrough, then he will likely be selected for his first call-up in November. England host Scotland in a World Cup qualifier on 11 November and then Spain in a friendly on Tuesday 15.

Middlesbrough have a difficult run of games coming up before the November international break. They play Tottenham Hotspur at home this Saturday, Arsenal away on 22 October and then Manchester City away on 5 November. Those are the games that Gibson’s international credentials will be further judged in, but if he continues to perform well he will be recognised for it.

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