Burnley manager Sean Dyche has backed Charlie Taylor to force his way into the England squad, speaking to the Clitheroe Advertiser, just two years after the left-back departed Leeds United under a cloud.
As Sam Byram and Alex Mowatt will tell you, the grass isn’t always greener elsewhere. But Taylor’s decision to reject a new contract at Elland Road has been justified by two years of regular Premier League football at Burnley.
Taylor has gone from strength to strength under Dyche, starting 35 games last season and impressing with his crossing ability and close control.
And even the most hard-nosed Leeds fanatic would have to admit that Taylor was probably right to force a move if he catches the eye of Gareth Southgate and follows Lewis Cook, his former Whites team-mate, into the national set up.
Dyche certainly believes Taylor has the potential. The chances of him getting an opportunity at international level have certainly been boosted by the fact he's playing at the top level now. Championship footballers, as Jack Grealish will attest to, are often overlooked, even by Southgate.
“I’m not going to say we won’t pick a player from the Championship because that could happen but it’s far more difficult to assess his level," Southgate told The Telegraph of Grealish in the spring. "You see certain parts of the game but not others. Not the physicality at times, nor the tactical discipline. That’s another level in the Premier League: the speed, the pace.
"That last bit of evidence that could give you confidence to pick him at the moment we won’t see."
Now an established Premier League player, however, there's not much stopping Taylor from catching Southgate's eye.
“Now we’re very confidently talking about Burnley players being in the England squad,” said the gruff-voiced gaffer.
“I still think there’s a lot of room and time for Charlie Taylor to go into that thinking, along his development line.”
According to The Mail, Burnley were forced to pay £5 million in compensation when they brought Taylor across the Pennines in the summer of 2017 though the 26-year-old has looked worth every penny for the majority of his Clarets career.
But with Ben Chilwell, Luke Shaw, Aaron Cresswell, Ryan Bertrand, Danny Rose and Ashley Young all capable of playing at left-back too with the Three Lions on their chest, Taylor still has a lot of work to do.
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