Jeff Stelling and Paul Merson suggest Harry Arter gets England call up

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Gareth Southgate is expected to name his first England squad on Sunday after being drafted in to replace Sam Allardyce, albeit on a temporary basis for the time being.

The fallout from The Telegraph's investigation into corruption in English football has seen the Football Association and Allardyce go their separate ways.

Many of Allardyce's backroom staff have been kept on by his immediate successor but Southgate would do well to ignore the opinion of two popular media figures when picking his squad.

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Jeff Stelling and Paul Merson are usually seen on Sky Sports' Soccer Saturday programme every week but took some time out to star in a live Facebook video to discuss the upcoming fixtures in the Premier League.

And when the subject turned to Bournemouth's clash with Watford on Saturday night, Stelling was particularly keen to discuss one specific Cherries star.

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"I want to talk about one player in particular actually here because Gareth Southgate names his first England squad this week, and is there the remotest chance that Harry Arter could be in it and if not, why not?" Stelling asked roughly six minutes into the video you can watch below.

Well, that's a good question Jeff, but unfortunately, the answer is a little bit embarrassing for you.

Merson, none the wiser, responded: "Well exactly, why not? He gets on the ball, he plays, he's a very very good footballer.

"Something's got to change with this England squad. What's the point in picking the same team? If you're going to pick the same players me and you might as well do it."

That's a frightening thought in itself because of course, what both failed to remember is the small matter of Arter already representing the Republic of Ireland.

The Bournemouth midfielder actually made his international debut against England in a 0-0 draw in 2015.

He has only picked up one more cap since then but is included in Martin O'Neil's latest squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and Moldova.

Arter has certainly made an impressive start to the campaign, even earning the praise of new teammate Jack Wilshere.

“He is definitely up there with some of the midfielders I’ve played with,” Wilshere said after Eddie Howe's side beat Everton last weekend.


“I have played with some top midfielders but it says a lot about a player when you are not at a big club like Arsenal and you are putting in performances like that.

“If he wants to, I’m sure he could go onto bigger clubs. But I’m sure he is enjoying his time at Bournemouth - the fans love him, the manager loves him and he’s got everyone’s respect at the club."

Nevertheless, he won't be spotted in an England shirt anytime soon, regardless of who the manager is.

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Jack Wilshere
Harry Arter
England Football
Premier League
Eddie Howe
Sam Allardyce

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