Danny Welbeck is “over the moon” to see Lewis Dunk called up to England’s senior squad again and has labelled him as one of the league’s best defenders.
Our skipper has been named in Gareth Southgate’s squad for next month’s European qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia, and Welbeck, who has scored 16 goals in 42 appearances for the Three Lions, couldn’t be happier for his teammate.
“I’m over the moon for Dunky,” said Welbeck. “Since I’ve been here, his level of performances have been top and his consistency every game is incredible. He leads by example on the pitch and fully deserves this call up.
“If you look across the Premier League at centre-backs he’s right up there with the best. I’m not the one who makes the decisions but I’ve always wondered why he hasn’t had more call ups – he’s deserved more.
“People who watch us regularly will know why he’s been called up, he’s an incredible player. Hopefully this is the first of many more now because his performances aren’t showing any sign of slowing down.
“He’s got years and years left at the top level and will keep on pushing to improve even. He’s got amazing mentality and mindset.”
Dunk became the fourth Albion player to earn a senior England cap when he made his debut in a 3-0 win against the USA in November 2018, but hasn’t been selected since – despite starring in the Premier League and playing every minute of every league match during this record-breaking season.
His form for Roberto De Zerbi’s team throughout the 2022-23 campaign has been fantastic and Danny believes that has played a vital role in Dunk’s return to international football.
The striker said, “This season, during and after matches, opposition players have said how well we’re playing and mentioned our great style of football – and that all starts at the back and goes through Lewis.
"Lewis Dunk deserves to play in the national team. It's not my job to decide but I would be happy if he does.— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) May 23, 2023
"It can be a target for others too, like Levi and Adam Webster. They are fantastic players." #BHAFC pic.twitter.com/BImooytGRr
“He’s integral to our style and how we play the game. He’s a mainstay in our side, he always makes everyone on the pitch feel comfortable and he’s always leading us.
“He brings composure to the team and sets the right example every day. He’s an invaluable skipper for us.”
Our captain will be hoping to add to his solitary cap when England travel to Valetta on June 16 before hosting North Macedonia at Old Trafford three days later.
Welbeck knows how special it is to represent your country and says Dunk will love the experience again.
“Playing for your country is amazing, and it’s right up there with the best feelings you can have in football.” said the former Arsenal and Manchester United man.
“Getting the call-up and being told plans is always exciting and joining up with the squad and playing is a special feeling. Dunky will obviously have had that once and will love it again this time – and will want to keep repeating that.
“He’ll be himself, show his ability and that will be more than enough for him to rack up some more deserved caps.”