Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe cannot understand why Jack Wilshere was left out of the England squad by new boss Gareth Southgate.
Midfielder Wilshere, who is on a season loan from Arsenal, was not included in the 26-man line-up to face Germany and Lithuania, while West Brom’s Jake Livermore was handed an unexpected call-up.
Howe feels the way the 25-year-old has gone about producing consistent displays in the Premier League this season has answered some of his critics over fitness issues, and believes Wilshere would have proven a valuable addition for the Three Lions.
“It is very difficult to put any other hat on than the Bournemouth hat, so am I surprised? Yes, because of the quality of the player Jack is, but I am not looking at the (England) squad in terms of who else there is to pick from,” Howe said at a press conference.
“I have been very consistent (with my thoughts) throughout the season. I think Jack has performed really well for us.
“The only question mark hanging over him before coming here was his ability to play consecutive games to keep fit, and I think he has done that.
“I still feel there is a lot more to come as he continues to get back to his very highest levels, so we have been very pleased with him.”
Wilshere came off the bench to make a telling impact as he helped set up a late winning goal for Josh King against West Ham.
Howe added: “Of course, it goes without saying (he is a crucial player for Bournemouth).
“Jack showed last week just how important he is to us because he came on and played an absolute pivotal role in the third goal for us.
“It was a great goal for us to score in the manner it came about and the way it was executed, and Jack showed his quality in that moment.”