Burnley Striker Ashley Barnes Could Get A Surprise International Call Up
There aren't many people, Ashley Barnes included, who would be expecting him to get an international call up. Before you start freaking out too much though it's not actually for England.
Ashley Barnes is a decent enough striker for Burnley, even if one Clarets fan tells me the timing of his jumping is about as decent as a James Corden joke about sexual assault in Hollywood films, but he's nothing more than that.
Check out our video on some of the players who were eligible to play for England, you might be surprised by some of them:
This season the 28 year old has chipped in with just four Premier League goals for his club, grabbing a further one in the FA Cup. Somehow he found himself in the middle of one of the weirdest transfer stories for an age when he was linked to Chelsea in January.
If his form had hardly warranted that rumour then no one would have even thought up the idea of going to the World Cup with Gareth Southgate's squad, and that's still the case.
However talking in an interview, via Sky Sports Austria, the Austrian national team manager Franco Fonda revealed he would watch the striker with an Austrian grandmother with the thought of calling him up, saying:
"We're watching Ashley Barnes. I'll look at him personally next week."
It's believed that up to now assistants Thomas Kristl and Imre Szabics have been to watch Barnes play and the manager will follow suit in the match between Burnley and West Ham next weekend.
The former Brighton striker has played for Austria at under 20 level but not since and has zero caps to his name for any country, and isn't likely to change that for England.
When Fonda watches Barnes he will be up against his competition up front for the national side in the shape of Marko Arnautovic who is enjoying somewhat of a renaissance to his season after a poor start at the Olympic Stadium.
Could Barnes become an international footballer?