England boss Roy Hodgson should perhaps be considering West Brom defender Craig Dawson for international duty in the new season, as he and fellow Englishman Joleon Lescott boast some of the strongest defensive figures of the 2014-15 season.
Dawson made a name for himself at Rochdale and the England Under-21s as a powerful central defender who is a huge attacking threat from set-pieces. He hasn't managed to replicate that goal threat to the same degree for the Baggies, but Dawson has really developed his defensive game over the last 12 months.
With England struggling to pick a settled central defence or right fullback, Dawson played both last season and what's more, managed to feature regularly in a side that was the second highest clean sheet keeper in the division after Premier League champions Chelsea.
|Position||Team||Clean Sheet||Passing Accuracy||Poss Won Def 3rd GAME||Aerial Won GAME||Duel Won GAME||Won Tackle GAME||Appearances||Mins Played|
|Craig Dawson||DF||West Brom||11||73.47%||2.69||3.72||6.48||1.35||29||2591|
The 25-year-old made 29 Premier League appearances last season, and 35 overall, and he took part in an impressive 11 clean sheets. Apart from his goalkeeper Ben Foster, who managed that amount in one match less, no Englishman achieved as many clean sheets in that number of games in the entire division.
|Position||Team||Clean Sheet||Passing Accuracy||Poss Won Def 3rd GAME||Aerial Won GAME||Duel Won GAME||Won Tackle GAME||Goals Conceded GAME||Appearances||Mins Played|
|Joleon Lescott||DF||West Brom||15||77.13%||3.68||2.12||4.56||1.35||1.29||34||3060|
Lescott was an even more vital contributor to the sheer number of clean sheets the Baggies achieved, managing 15. John Terry is the only Englishman that registered more than that, but considering that he is unavailable to Roy Hodgson, it seems strange for the former Manchester City man to be continually overlooked, even if he is 32-years-old.
Roy Hodgson could certainly do much worse than considering his old club when it comes to trying to stifle England's defensive frailties. Whether he'll do that next season or not, we'll have to wait and see.