Leon Britton for England, says Swansea City's Jonathan de Guzman
JONATHAN de Guzman has paid tribute to midfield maestro Leon Britton and admitted: "I can't understand why he doesn't play for England."
Britton and de Guzman were reunited in Swansea City's midfield in the 4-0 win over Sunderland last weekend.
And while de Guzman stole most of the headlines, Britton was also heavily involved as Swansea chalked up a much-needed home win in the Premier League.
As well as setting the tempo for his team and protecting Michael Laudrup's back four, Britton won Swansea's first penalty in 56 top-flight games after collecting a pass from de Guzman.
Dutch international de Guzman, meantime, teed up two set-piece goals and scored with a spectacular long-range curler.
But the on-loan Villarreal man was keen to deflect praise on to Britton in the wake of the Black Cats win. "Leon's so important to the team," de Guzman said.
"We noticed that last season too. He's always been a help playing alongside me, he's a great player to play with and watch.
"He always works hard for the team. You look at him and don't realise he's such a strong little lad.
"He's very technical, always passing and making it easy for our forwards, making sure we have that space.
"And obviously on the defensive side it is always great to have him in front of the back four looking for the ball. Like I say, he's a great player to play with."
The Britton fan club is not short of members in these parts.
But for all his consistent displays in a Swansea shirt, the 31-year-old has never been called up by England.
And de Guzman admits he struggles to see why an English team who keep talking about the need to retain possession better would overlook a pass master like Britton.
"I told Leon many times last season that with the performances he was putting in, I was surprised he hadn't had that call up," de Guzman added.
"Hopefully he will get it sooner rather than later."
Despite their heroics against Sunderland, both Britton and de Guzman may drop down to the bench tomorrow when Swansea face Kuban Krasnodar in the Europa League.
Laudrup has regularly rotated his midfield players during European weeks so far this season, and it could be that Jonjo Shelvey and Jose Canas return for what the manager regards as a critical Group A game.
Kuban, who have lost their two group games so far, arrive in Wales today and will train at the Liberty this evening.