Pundit urges Southgate to give Chelsea star first England start

England have the perfect opportunity to ‘build for the future’ by playing Levi Colwill at centre-back.

That is the view of former Aston Villa and Liverpool attacker Stan Collymore, who thinks Gareth Southgate should award the highly-rated Chelsea defender with his first senior international cap in the Three Lions’ upcoming European Championship qualifier against the Ukraine on Saturday.

Looking to extend their lead at the top of Group C’s qualification table, England will be confident they can add to their 12-point tally at the expense of Serhiy Rebrov’s Ukraine.

Although the Three Lions have been forced to contend with several injuries, including the withdrawals of Manchester City duo Jack Grealish and John Stones, Southgate’s options remain plentiful.

And even though the majority of the squad picks itself, including Bayern Munich’s Harry Kane starting upfront, following Stones’ withdrawal, there is now an opportunity at centre-back for a player, potentially an internationally inexperienced one, to take advantage of, and Collymore knows who he would like to see start.

“As for which player should partner Maguire at the back, although Stones has been ruled out through injury, Southgate still has several defenders to choose from,” Collymore said in an exclusive interview.

“Lewis Dunk, Marc Guehi, Fikayo Tomori and Levi Colwill are all available for selection, and if it were up to me, I would start the latter.

“Colwill enjoyed an excellent season while out on loan with Brighton and Hove Albion last season and his talent and projected development was proven by Chelsea’s insistence on renewing his contract. He is a great player and at the age of just 20, why not start building for the future by embedding him now?”

Do you agree with Collymore? – Which player do you think should start alongside Maguire tomorrow night? – Let us know in the comments below.

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