John Barnes reckons Michail Antonio should’ve been in Gareth Southgate’s plans
West Ham's Michail Antonio is set to make his debut for Jamaica during the current international break – but things would've been very different had he not suffered a hamstring duty back in 2017.
The former Reading and Nottingham Forest star had only recently moved in the Premier League with the Hammers, but was called up in Sam Allardyce's first England squad in 2016.
During that camp he was an unused substitute, but he got the nod from Gareth Southgate the following March before withdrawing due to a hamstring injury.
Since then, the 31-year-old has decided to pursue a spell with the Reggae Boyz, and was recently made available after securing a Jamaican passport – getting his call-up in late August.
Another former star who had the option of playing for both Jamaica and England was Three Lions hero John Barnes, who unlike Antonio, was born on the Caribbean island.
Speaking to Bonus Code Bets, Barnes has now given his thoughts on the situation, and said that Antonio might well have been in and around the thoughts of Southgate.
He said, while speaking about England's upcoming World Cup qualifiers: "For the Andorra game Southgate could make changes, but I think against Hungary and Poland he will play close to his strongest team.
"It’s good that Andorra is in between the two because you can give some of the main players a rest. But I think he’ll want to start on a good note. Whoever’s in the squad deserves to be in the squad.
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"Jude Bellingham should be there – he seems to have come on leaps and bounds. But I don’t think there’s anyone else who deserves to be there ahead of the players who were there in the Euros.
"I think it’s going to be similar to the squad at the Euros, and rightfully so.
"Michail Antonio has been in and around the squad but it depends who you leave him out for.
"I’m sure he’ll (have been) in Gareth’s thoughts but can he be there ahead of Harry Kane or Calvert-Lewin? But he is there or thereabouts and well thought of."
West Ham wrote on their official website this week: "Michail Antonio has been called up by Jamaica for their FIFA World Cup qualifier against Panama.
"The West Ham United striker has been in fine form at the start of the Premier League season, scoring four goals and assisting three more in the first three games of the campaign.
"Now his form has been rewarded with his first international call for the Reggae Boyz, who are aiming to qualify for their first World Cup finals tournament since France 1998."
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