COLUMN: Drinkwater's Three Lions call-up offers hope to lower league players
Danny Drinkwater has been included in the England squad - which is a huge shot in the arm for players plying their trade outside the top flight.
Roy Hodgson’s decision to pick a midfielder from a side that sits top of the Premier League may not be eyebrow-raising at first glance.
But when you consider that Drinkwater has never even been near a call-up and he plays for Leicester, then it certainly makes you sit up and think.
“What he’s done has been evident to everybody,” said Hodgson.
“He’s had a fantastic season, but even last year we were aware of him.”
True perhaps, but this term has seen Drinkwater and his City teammtes excel beyond all imagination.
The Manchester-born player, 26, has had a remarkable rise and most of it is testament to sticking at it, despite being released by a so-called ‘big’ club like Manchester United.
Cast your eyes over Hodgson’s latest squad to face Germany and the Netherlands later this month, and the amount of players who have honed their skills whilst on loan in the lower leagues is remarkable.
Cheltenham Town, Leyton Orient and Milton Keynes’ Dons are hardly glamorous footballing outposts.
But these clubs proved vital in giving today’s England stars such as Jack Butland, Harry Kane and Delle Alli a grounding in the game.
Drinkwater is no different.
He’s plied his trade on loan at four separate clubs before being released from United without ever making a senior appearance.
But his move to Leicester worked out and it could see him crowned a Premier League title winner in a few months time.
Reaching the Euro’s with Hodgson’s squad would be the icing on the cake and show that no matter how many setbacks a player gets, they can always achieve their goals if they are willing to put the hard yards in.