One per club: the best uncapped player at every Premier League team

Chelsea starlet Colwill Credit: Alamy
Chelsea starlet Colwill Credit: Alamy

Pascal Gross winning a long-awaited and hard-earned Germany cap – even if it was for the worst Germany team in living memory – leads us inevitably to a list of the best player at each Premier League club who doesn’t (yet) have an international cap to their name. It’s international week, and that’s what we’re reduced to.

Simple qualification rules. Zero full international caps. Can have played as much age-group football as they like – indeed, it’s encouraged – been called up to the national squad and even spent a decade warming the bench in one case. Only caps count…


Arsenal – Eddie Nketiah
Feels certain that it’s going to happen given his prolific England Under-21 record, growing significance at Arsenal and Gareth Southgate’s rotating-door policy for strikers who are not Harry Kane. Very possibly today, in fact.


Aston Villa – Jacob Ramsey
Now has over 100 Aston Villa appearances to his name but has made the mistake of being a central midfielder in the era of Bellingham and Rice and still for increasingly baffling and nonsensical reasons Jordan pissing Henderson.

READ: Aston Villa dominate the most valuable Premier League XI outside Big Six (plus Newcastle)


Bournemouth – Max Aarons
If things go well, this will be Alex Scott before too long and then soon after that he will become ineligible. For now, and presumably again at some point in the future, though, it’s England’s 15th-choice right-back.


Brentford – Rico Henry
One thing being an England right-back on this list, but you do need to have a look at yourself if you’re a left-back and haven’t snaffled a cap somewhere along the way. In fairness to your Rico Henrys, that’s because when faced with injury-related left-back shortages, Gareth does like to redeploy one of his great many right-backs rather than go for another left-back. Sometimes he’ll even use a right-sided forward, such is his reluctance to look beyond the Chilwell-Shaw duopoly among actual left-backs.

Bit harsh on Henry, who is well into a third season as a solid Premier League citizen with Brentford and was one of the left-backs Manchester United had a little desperate late look at in the transfer window. In fairness, that list does comprise all of the left-backs.


Brighton – Joao Pedro
Lewis Dunk and Adam Webster having a single England cap between them feels somehow perverse, especially when you consider that Lewis Dunk, Adam Webster and Eric Dier have 50 England caps between them. Pascal Gross’ Germany cap inspired this feature, and Brighton lead the way for one-cappers; Gross and Dunk are, for now, joined by Ivory Coast’s Simon Adingra and Argentina’s Facundo Buonanotte in that particular exclusive club. Webster would be worthy of a spot in our list, but it has to be Joao Pedro really, on the basis that he is a Brazilian centre-forward and therefore must surely be due a chance soon by virtue of not being Richarlison.


Burnley – James Trafford
England Under-21s’ Euros final hero has shipped 11 goals in his first three Premier League games as Burnley goalkeeper. The good news is that not everyone in the Premier League is quite as good at scoring goals as Manchester City, Aston Villa and Tottenham.


Chelsea – Levi Colwill
Absolutely loads of contenders among the several thousand members of Chelsea’s playing squad. For now it’s Colwill, but probably not for much longer. After him, though, it can still be Malo Gusto or Ian Maatsen or Cole Palmer or Noni Madueke and so on and so forth.


Crystal Palace – Michael Olise
For as long as he remains uncapped by France there remains the tantalising possibility of his England eligibility. But he turned down England Under-21 boss Lee Carsley and could also represent Algeria or Nigeria but appears to have eyes only for Les Bleus having represented them exclusively at youth levels. Fair enough too, but that squad is a tough nut to crack. Moving to Chelsea might have helped but it also very much might not have. We’re pretty glad he stayed with Palace.

READ: Newcastle quartet among ten best players England must avoid losing to other countries like Barnes


Everton – Beto
Hasn’t played any national football at any youth level for Portugal, which does seem a bit of a quirk based on what we’ve seen of him so far. Certainly fun-and-goal-starved Everton fans have understandably placed much of their hopes on the very broad shoulders of their new striker, who showed enough on his Premier League debut to suggest he might just be able to make this season very slightly less bleak at Goodison Park than would otherwise be the case. And who knows, maybe national team attention will follow.


Fulham – Carlos Vinicius
Surprising number of capped players at Fulham, it turns out. We won’t lie, Andreas Pereira’s one cap for Brazil in 2018 is a bit inconvenient for us here. Proud moment for him, sure, but inconvenient for us. It’s another Brazilian striker, then, and one who has as many Premier League goals for Spurs as Richarlison.


Liverpool – Harvey Elliott
Couple of England midfield likely lads available here, with Harvey Elliott perhaps a touch more likely to graduate to full honours than Curtis Jones, a man who appears destined to turn up for two months a year in an injury crisis and do brilliantly before disappearing again. Elliott and Jones have 34 caps between them for the Under-21s.


Luton – Thomas Kaminski
Ah, Luton. Lovely story and all the rest of it, but there’s no point pretending they’re going to be anything other than a burden when it comes to one-per-clubs. Thank the very heavens, then, for the fact goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski has made it as far as Belgium’s bench on 16 occasions across the last decade but never made it as far as the pitch. Might piss him off a bit, like, but we’re grateful.


Manchester City – Rico Lewis
Because what England need is another hugely promising young right-back. You can never have too many, we always think.


Manchester United – Aaron Wan-Bissaka
Right-backs, right-backs everywhere, and not a drop to drink. In fairness to Wan-Bissaka, he has pretty successfully turned around a Manchester United career in serious danger of stalling completely, but it’s got him nowhere nearer an England call-up. Which is pretty wild when you think about it: a fella who cost Manchester United £50m and has played for them over 160 times cannot get a sniff with England.


Newcastle – Sven Botman
Plenty of contenders in Newcastle’s over-achieving squad of last season, with Joe Willock, Sean Longstaff and Anthony Gordon all uncapped. Hard to look past the brilliant Botman, though, who has made it as far as the Netherlands bench a few times but got no further. They are pretty stacked at centre-back, mind, with Virgil van Dijk, Nathan Ake, Matthijs de Ligt, Stefan de Vrij and Spurs new boy Micky van de Ven all worthy adversaries.


Nottingham Forest – Morgan Gibbs-White
Forest’s squad manages to contain a vast number of caps – thanks chiefly to Wayne Hennessey, Cheikhou Kouyate, Serge Aurier and Chris Wood – but also some eye-catching uncapped members. None better, though, than Morgan Gibbs-White. He’s a player who has about him a distinct if hard to define internationally kind of vibe. We’re almost certain that if he did get a chance with England, he would do really well. His error is to play in positions where England are absolutely stacked with absurdly good options.


Sheffield United – Cameron Archer
We fear he’s going to be really quite good. Don’t get us wrong, we’ve nothing against him or Sheffield United. We hope he does well, genuinely. We’re just worried about all the puns.


Tottenham – Destiny Udogie
Micky van de Ven is another contender here having made an eye-catching start to his Spurs career and also the Dutch bench for the game against Ireland last week, but he faces the Botman Problem outlined above. If Destiny Udogie keeps up anything like the form he’s shown in the first month of the Premier League season he surely won’t remain uncapped by Italy for long because he already looks like one of the best left-backs in the league.


West Ham – Ben Johnson
Wholly unsatisfactory, really, that what could be called the Mark Noble Memorial Feature currently contains such a poor offering from West Ham. This would have been much easier in the days when Jarrod Bowen, for instance, was patiently awaiting a call-up. Even Danny Ings has got a few caps. Even Aaron Cresswell has got a few caps. Kurt Zouma has played for France, for crying out loud. It’s the slimmest of pickings and when that happens we do what we always do for this feature: we look for a right-back. There’s always an uncapped English right-back knocking around in every squad if you look hard enough.


Wolves – Max Kilman
Eligible for our list specifically because we don’t count futsal but FIFA do. Kilman, uncapped by England in big football, collected 25 caps in futsal between 2015 and 2018 and in so doing rendered himself ineligible to play for Ukraine. They made an approach in 2021, but were knocked back by FIFA.

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