Steve Davis has said Wolves defender Maximilian Kilman needs to become more aggressive and feared if he is to break into the England squad.
Kilman will perhaps be tuning in from afar to watch the Three Lions in Qatar, having been overlooked by Gareth Southgate.
Southgate selected his squad last week, plumping for Ben White, Kyle Walker, John Stones, Eric Dier, Harry Maguire, Conor Coady as his defensive options.
In the end, Kilman was never really in a strong enough position to get called up.
The star needed a huge start to the 2022/23 season to come into Southgate’s thinking. But his form just hasn’t really been there.
He was great in the first five or six games or so. But his level has dipped in recent weeks.
It is a bit of shame, as Kilman really does feel like a player who could be of great use to England.
He can play in a back four or five, and is left-footed which surely counts for a lot.
He has been close in the past. His time will come, and Davis has challenged Kilman to become more feared in order to gain international recognition.
He said (via Birmingham Mail): “There is a lack of left-footed centre-backs of quality. For me, if there’s something Max needs to improve on, he needs more aggression in how he plays. You have to have a reputation to be someone the opposition hates playing against. He has to build that.
“He has a high quality on the technical side, he’s become a really good athlete and his profile is spot on to be an England centre-back – and there isn’t much competition – but the best centre-halves were feared. If he can do that there’s no reason why he couldn’t play for England.”
Davis is right with his assessment of Kilman, he must become more aggressive and dominant to break into England squad
This is probably a fair assessment from Davis about Kilman.
The 25-year-old is a very cultured defender. He is fantastic on the ball and technically strong. He can spray all kinds of passes with both feet, and is confident to dribble out from the back.
He’s also very good aerially.
But it does feel a bit sometimes like Kilman could be ‘nastier’. He’s a physical specimen in that he’s tall, strong and fairly quick. He has serious potential to be absolutely dominant and really strike fear into opposition strikers.
Kilman is on Southgate’s radar, but clearly there is something missing at the moment.
If Kilman did become a bit more fearsome and aggressive for Wolves, as Davis suggests, he might increase his appeal.