Newcastle striker and Middlesbrough duo should be in England squad, says ex-Leeds star

Aiden Flint has been tipped for an England call-up
Aiden Flint has been tipped for an England call-up

Gareth Southgate has revealed that he could turn to the Championship as he looks for English players - and a Championship pundit has lined-up suggestions of who he should include.

The former Middlesbrough boss has admitted that he could be forced to turn to the second tier as he looks to fill the Three Lions' squad.

"I can't rule out players in the Championship now as our pool is getting smaller and smaller," he admitted.

"One of our biggest concerns is playing time for English players, shown by a number of the squad that came with us to Russia not getting opportunities to play."

And with Southgate potentially looking to the Championship for fresh talent, a lower league pundit has aired views on who he feels should be catching the eye of the England boss.

Former Leeds United star Noel Whelan provided the Sporting Life Championship podcast with eight players he tipped for an international call-up.

And he believes that Middlesbrough duo Aiden Flint and George Friend should be in Southgate's thoughts.

"I think they're two players that he has got to be looking at for that international set-up at some stage," Whelan admitted.

"Friend has been very consistent over a number of years now in playing that wing-back role. Loads of quality is there."

Whelan also feels that a Newcastle United striker could fit the bill for Southgate, with Dwight Gayle tipped to be another who could be in line for a call-up.

Gayle, who will spend the season on loan at West Brom as part of the deal that saw Salomon Rondon move to St James's Park, received plenty of praise from the ex-Coventry City man.

"He's a goalscorer," said Whelan.

"I think in a set-up with better players and some good service he'll probably score a bag full and I think he will do in this Sky Bet Championship season as well.

"He's not just a natural goalscorer but his overall game is great, he's not scared to run into the channels and he holds the ball well. He has loads of intelligence."