From Falcao to Townsend: 5 players who turn it on for their country

Andros Townsend

With Tottenham midfielder Andros Townsend scoring again for England against Italy, we decided to showcase five players who put country before club.

International week may be something of a pain to Premier League fans, but for some players it’s a chance to escape a miserable run of domestic form.

It’s proved no different this time around either with a string of stars labelled “flops” at clubs like Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur coming to the fore on the international stage.

With that in mind, we’ve picked out five Premier League players who appear to be putting country before club.

1. Andros Townsend

A fine goal against Italy may have silenced doubters like Paul Merson but unless Townsend can raise his game for Spurs, the Arsenal legend’s accusations of favouritism on the part of Roy Hodgson may well ring true.

The 23-year-old has played just 12 Premier League games this term, scoring twice - with one of those goals coming from the penalty spot. By contrast, he’s netted three in seven for England and looks as lively and clinical as ever.

2. Lukas Podolski

On loan at Inter Milan from Arsenal, Podolski has yet to score for the Nerazzurri and was recently named runner-up to Alessio Cerci for Gazzetta Dello Sport’s worst January signing award.

In 60 Premier League outings for the Gunners he also managed only 19 goals, however a recent strike against Australia saw the 29-year-old move ahead of Rudi Voller and Jurgen Klinsmann to third in Die Mannschaft’s list of all-time top goalscorers.

3. Radamel Falcao

On loan at Manchester United from AS Monaco but unlikely to remain at Old Trafford beyond the current campaign, Falcao has managed just four goals in 19 outings for the Red Devils to date.

Despite this, the 29-year-old remains as prolific as ever for Colombia, with a recent haul of three goals over friendlies against Bahrain and Kuwait seeing him becoming the country’s all-time top scorer with 25 in 56 appearances.

4. Graziano Pelle

Signed by Southampton from Feyenoord last summer, the 29-year-old Italian enjoyed an electric start to life in the Premier League with eight goals in the opening half the Premier League season.

That return was enough to see Antonio Conte call the Saints striker up for Italy and while the Azzurri boss’ faith has been repaid with two goals in three appearances, Pelle has so far failed to score again for Southampton in the Premier League since the turn of the year.

5. Edin Dzeko

The Bosnian’s overall record at Manchester City may be impressive enough, but Dzeko has endured something of a stop-start season at the Etihad with four goals in 17 Premier League appearances.

It’s been an entirely different story at international level, however, with the 29-year-old netting five goals in just six appearances for Bosnia-Herzegovina since the current campaign began.

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