LEON OSMAN’S scintillating Everton form should be enough to warrant England recognition, says David Moyes.
The Blues boss is hoping his thriving midfielder can help the Toffees to a rare victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford today, and believes it would be richly deserved if Fabio Capello considered the 29-year-old for his next England squad.
He said: “Well, that would be great if they are (looking at Osman). I think that he’s sort of one that’s underneath since I’ve been here – he’s never just quite made the extra little bit, maybe to get involved with the England squad, but if that’s right that would be great.
“He’s been a really good player for us.”
Osman joined Everton as a youth player in 1997, making his first-team debut at the end of the 2003/04 campaign, Moyes’s second full season in charge.
“He’s been a big part since I’ve come here, not just the recent form,” said Moyes. “He’s been very much right in there, doing as well as most people. He doesn’t maybe get the recognition or the plaudits he deserves a lot of the time.
“He’s suffered a little bit with injuries in recent years, little bits at times that he’s been out, but overall he’s been an excellent player who we can rely on, we trust him and he’s done a really good job since I’ve been here.”
Along with hoping Osman’s hot streak continues, Moyes is buoyed by the likely availability of Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta today.
Both players have trained this week, and although they will be subject to late fitness tests, are expected to be included in the squad.
Another player Moyes hopes to make an impact against the Red Devils is Leighton Baines, although Moyes did not disagree with Ashley Cole’s inclusion in the PFA team of the year, ahead of the Goodison defender.
He said: “I have said many times I think Ashley Cole is the best left-back in England, but I think Leighton Baines is just a tad behind him.
“He needs to keep pushing very hard and improving, he needs to keep continuing his work and get better.
“You can see that Ashley Cole over the years has kept going but I think Leighton Baines has been the ‘big mover’. He has done really well. I think he is getting closer to Ashley. For a while he wasn’t sure if he was maybe out of his depth at Everton, but I think he has grown into it.
“A lot of people have come here and not started in the team – for Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines it has taken them to get into it in the way we want.
“But in a way I think that is right because it meant the players in the team were fighting hard to keep in it while we had people like Jags and Bainesy trying to push them.
“Leighton has matured, his football has got better. He has become a bigger part of the team now and is well integrated.
“We like him and think he has had a really strong season.”