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The Crystal Palace player long overdue an England call-up

| 09.11.2015

Scott Dann scored the winner as Crystal Palace once again beat Liverpool, extending their run of consecutive victories against the Reds to three.

The centre-back is a Liverpool fan but that didn’t stop him putting in a man-of-the-match performance, continuing the type of form he’s shown throughout his career.

He has been made captain or vice-captain at every club he’s represented, but, despite his ability and demonstrated leadership skills, never seems to be in contention for an England cap.

Gary Cahill, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and John Stones were all preferred to him for the games with France and Spain, and many would suggest they’re ahead of Dann on merit.

However, when looking at the defensive records of teams in the Premier League this season, you begin to question whether this is true.

Of the four picked centre-backs, only Smalling and Jones are playing for a side that has conceded less than the Eagles, with Manchester United’s eight bettering Palace’s 12.

Dann has marshalled his defence to this strong position, while Stones’ Everton have let in four more, with Cahill and Chelsea even further behind on 23.

The only other teams to have shipped less than Alan Pardew’s men are Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, with none of them having an Englishman at centre-half.

Palace’s 28-year-old defender would also be particularly useful for the Three Lions when looking at his record away from home.

He averages 2.2 blocks a game when not at Selhurst Park, more than any other player in the league, and this ability to break up play would be vital to England if they get a tough draw at Euro 2016.

When trying to work out why an international cap has alluded Dann, it seems to come down to the clubs he has played for.

The former Walsall, Coventry City, Birmingham City and Blackburn Rovers man has continually stepped out for sides unfancied by the national set up.

For instance, despite Palace sitting eighth in the table, they have had no players selected for the Spain and France games.

Conversely, eight places have been allotted to members of lower ranking squads, including three from Liverpool.

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Dan Ross

After a brief stint as a commentator, Dan took his passion for football into writing and went on to gain an NCTJ in sports journalism. A lifelong Walsall fan, he's followed the Saddlers through the highs, getting to Wembley for the first time ever last season, and the lows, namely relegation to League Two in 2006.