Dominic Calvert-Lewin believes his Everton form proves he is ready to play for England as he closes in on realising a childhood ambition.
The 23-year-old received his maiden call-up to the Three Lions squad for upcoming games against Wales, Belgium and Denmark thanks to a stunning start to the campaign.
Calvert-Lewin has scored nine goals in six games in all competitions this season, including two hat-tricks, and he sits joint top of the Premier League top scorers list with six.
That sees him heading to the international set-up full of confidence and holding “no fear” about making the step up.
“I’ve not played my first game yet but I’m just looking forward to it and am excited just to get on the pitch,” he said.
“I’m sure that the Premier League is the best league in the world, I’m playing there consistently well at the moment so I’ve got no fears in playing for England.
“It’s a kid’s dream to play for the country and I’m very privileged to be here now.
“I don’t think you can ever plan how you’re going to feel when you first get called up for your country and for me I’ve thought about it for a long time and I’ve worked extremely hard to get here.
“I was obviously concentrating on playing for Everton and winning games. As the time nears you hope you might be in the manager’s thoughts to be called up to your country.
“For me to be here, it’s something that I have thought long and hard about and dreamed of for a long time.”
Calvert-Lewin’s chances of making his debut will have increased by the absence of fellow striker Tammy Abraham, who along with Ben Chilwell and Jadon Sancho have yet to join up with the squad.
The trio’s arrival has been delayed while the Football Association investigates reports the trio attended a party in breach of coronavirus restrictions.
It is another headache for manager Gareth Southgate, who had warned his players to be on their best behaviour after Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood were sent home for breaching protocols while on England duty in Iceland last month.
Calvert-Lewin says Southgate again reminded the players of their responsibilities in a team meeting on Monday, but does not think the squad is one that is affected by ill-discipline.
The striker said: “It’s a difficult time. The boys have apologised and that’s first and foremost what they needed to do but we all understand what it means to play for the country and you have to remember that at all times.
“It’s a tough situation but they’ve apologised so you have to move on.
“We had a welcome meeting (on Monday) and (Southgate) just reminded us what it means and the expectations of playing for England and you have to be extra, extra careful and follow the rules.
“It’s a unique moment in time and we always have to be extra attentive to those rules, and that’s the way it is when you’re representing your country.
“I don’t feel like there is a discipline issue, there’s been a few lapses in concentration and that’s all I would put it down to.
“We’re human beings at the end of the day, we’re still learning and still growing. Everybody’s likely to make mistakes at certain times but it’s important that you learn from it and you apologise and recognise where you’ve gone wrong and keep it moving which obviously the lads have done, so there is not that feeling, no.”
One man in the Three Lions squad who can never be accused of indiscipline is captain Harry Kane.
And the Everton man is looking forward to getting a closer look at how his Tottenham counterpart carries himself.
“He broke into the Premier League and hit the ground running around a similar age to what I am now,” he said.
“For me, he’s got a lot of things to his game that I can learn from and add to my game. He is where he is for a reason: he’s worked extremely hard, he’s got great ability and he scores goals.
“For me as a player coming into the team, it’s nice to get up close and personal and see how he operates on a daily basis.”
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