Steele can play for England too, says De Zerbi

Head coach backs his goalkeeper to win recognition at senior level for England

By Bruce Talbot • 28 May 2023

By Paul Hazlewood
Jason Steele shows his delight after helping Albion qualify for the Europa League against Manchester City on Wednesday.

Roberto De Zerbi believes goalkeeper Jason Steele can resurrect his England career, just like Lewis Dunk.

Dunk was recalled to the England senior squad last week for European Championship qualifiers away to Malta and at home to North Macedonia next month, five years after winning his only cap against the United States.

Steele played seven games for England under-21s, the last of them a decade ago, but his Albion career has flourished since De Zerbi brought him into the team in February and he has played a key role in helping us secure a sixth-place finish in the Premier League and with it Europa League football next season.

Ahead of the final game of the season at Aston Villa today, De Zerbi spoke in glowing terms of his goalkeeper.

De Zerbi said: “We will work next season to help Jason Steele achieve the same target as Lewis Dunk, because he has the quality to achieve such an important target.

“I don’t want to speak about other ‘keepers in other teams. In my vision, in my idea, Jason Steele is a top ‘keeper. It’s difficult to find another ‘keeper of this level.


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De Zerbi’s Villa press conference

“I study football 24 hours a day. It’s very hard to find another ‘keeper with this quality to play.”

After playing just once in the top-flight in his first four-and-a-half years with the club, Steele has played in 15 of our last 16 games after De Zerbi promoted the 32-year-old.

De Zerbi added: “Football is nice, because the past is not important. I have to analyse the present and sometimes the potential in the future.

“You can change your life in one day if you believe in yourself, in work. I told him the same. ‘Jason, you have to think you can change. I’ll give you the possibility to change your life, your career and you have to believe in yourself because I’ll help you and you help me and the team’.”