Jack Rodwell may have endured a frustrating two-year spell at Manchester City but, having sealed a £10 million move to Sunderland, the 23-year-old is now targeting an England recall.
Hailed as one of the country’s brightest prospects coming up through Everton’s academy, Rodwell made his debut for the club in 2007 at age 16, going on to make 109 appearances over the next five seasons, while receiving his Three Lions debut in November 2011.
Missing out on Euro 2012 due to injury, the midfielder would subsequently earn a £12 million move to City in August but made just seven Premier League stars with the club, with further fitness issues and fierce competition for first-team places proving too much to overcome.
Signing a five-year deal at Sunderland, the youngster admits that he was in danger of becoming an afterthought with Roy Hodgson, but now believes that the chance of regular football on Wearside can see him improve upon his three international caps.
‘Watching the World Cup left a little bit of a bitter taste in my mouth,’ he said.
‘I was supporting the team 100 per cent but I also wanted to be there so I think it’s time I put that right, get back playing and get back in the squad.
‘Regular football is the most important thing for me now. To play football and get back enjoying it. So it is a great place for me to be,’ he added.
‘I am going to give it my all, that's that main thing, give 100 per cent in every game. I will do that without doubt, hopefully score some goals and be a good box-to-box midfielder.
‘I'll get involved with some good tackles, play my own game and hopefully give the fans what they want. I will give 100 per cent.’
With captain Steven Gerrard retiring, and 36-year-old Frank Lampard seemingly out of the picture, there are no doubt midfield openings to fill in the England setup, especially with a clear lack of options coming through.
Rodwell evidently still has to unseat already established names like Jordan Henderson, Jack Wilshere and Tom Cleverley for a place in the centre of the pitch but, as one of few options who can call himself a genuine holding player, there is an obvious need for someone with his skillset.
However, before that scenario ever becomes a reality, the former Toffees prospect must first rediscover his undoubted potential under Gus Poyet and prove that his injury problems are indeed a thing of the past.