Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood tips Ashley Westwood for England call-up

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Sherwood says he would be "very surprised" if the 25-year-old midfielder did not make one of Roy Hodgson's squads this season.

After rewarding Ashley Westwood with a new five-year deal, Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has told AVTV that he expects the midfielder to earn a first England call-up at some stage this season.

Westwood, 25, joined Villa from League One side Crewe Alexandra in August 2012 for around £900,000 plus add-ons and has since made 104 total appearances for the club, while recording three goals and 11 assists.

Though he has made few headlines during his time in the West Midlands, his consistent performances prompted the since-departed Paul Lambert to tip him for international honours in the past, while Sherwood has also likened his no-nonsense approach to that of Manchester United’s Michael Carrick on several occasions.

The Villa boss even stated last week that he wanted the former Crewe skipper to become his side’s "chief orchestrator" after seeing him commit his future to the club until 2020 and, having also labelled him one of his favourite players to work with, believes that Roy Hodgson should have him earmarked as Carrick’s long-term successor for the Three Lions.

“I’m delighted and delighted for him,” Sherwood said of Westwood’s new contract. “I would be very surprised if he didn’t play for England this season – he’s as good as that.

“He’s probably been the single most consistent player at this club since I’ve arrived.

“He’s very much of the Michael Carrick mould. Michael’s not getting any younger and I’m not sure we’ve found a replacement for him yet, so I think he’s got every chance.

“We’re just giving him more opportunities to play for us now and, if he keeps on with his consistent level of performance, I’m sure a call-up won’t be too far around the corner.

“It would be great for all of us and he’s earned the right.”

 2015-16 season AssistsTotal Key PassesTotal Passes GAMEPassing AccuracyTotal Tackles GAMETackle AccuracyTouches GAMEDispossessedAppearancesMins Played
Ashley Westwood 1 4 51 84% 2 100% 65 1 2 180

Westwood played more minutes than any other Villa player in pre-season [450] and has since started the club’s first two Premier League fixtures over Carlos Sanchez in a holding role in front of the back four.

As well as setting up Rudy Gestede’s winner in the 1-0 opening day victory at Bournemouth, the midfield anchorman has earned the claret and blue faithful’s praise for his understated but efficient showings and it is now growing hard to envisage Sherwood’s line-up without him in the centre of the park.

Having made big strides forward in his defensive work of late, he still seems to be improving at this point of his career and, if he continues to show the same kind of progress over the coming months, then that England call-up cannot be far off.

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