Sean Dyche believes Burnley left-back Charlie Taylor has the potential to play for England if he can keep making improvements to his game.
The 27-year-old is in line to make his 100th league appearance for the Clarets when his former club Leeds visit Turf Moor on Saturday, having been an integral part of a Burnley side now sure of a sixth consecutive campaign in the top flight next season.
“He’s improving and he continues to do so,” Dyche said. “He’s had his learning curve and some unfortunate spells out with injury.
“He’s a very powerful defender, very good one v one, and if he plays forwards more and runs forwards more, then he at least can get around the thinking of the national manager in my opinion.”
Burnley signed Taylor in 2017 when his Leeds contract had run down, paying a compensation fee reportedly around £7million for a player who had by then established himself as first-choice at Elland Road.
Dyche said he and his staff had been working to drum out of Taylor some of what he was taught as a youngster, but argued England boss Gareth Southgate might soon want to take a look.
“He’s from an academy system where full-backs are told to play backwards constantly,” Dyche said. “If we can get him playing forwards more, get him running forwards more, then I think he can certainly be on the radar of the national manager.
“I’m not remotely saying he should be in the team or in the squad (now), but he should be at least putting himself in the thoughts of the national manager in my opinion.
“When he’s doing the things I’ve just said, then I think he will do.”
Taylor will not be the only player seeing familiar faces on Saturday, with Leeds forward Patrick Bamford back at the club where he spent a brief and ill-fated spell on loan in 2016.
Bamford joined on a season-long deal from Chelsea that summer, but it was cut short by January as he failed to break into the side, with the player later claiming a personality clash with Dyche was partly to blame.
“I think he was maturing as a professional and as a player and the different challenges that come,” Dyche said of a player who has scored 15 Premier League goals this season.
“He did very well in finding his own way and working through those challenges and he’s delivered without a doubt.”