Mee aims to follow Clarets pair into England squad

Ben Mee clears under pressure from Leicester City and England striker Jamie Vardy
Ben Mee clears under pressure from Leicester City and England striker Jamie Vardy

Clarets centre back Ben Mee admits it remains a big ambition to pull on the Three Lions for England.

Mee was overlooked by interim boss Gareth Southgate for the current squad, who face Spain at Wembley in a friendly tonight, having beaten Auld Enemy Scotland 3-0 in their World Cup qualifier on Friday night.

He is statistically one of the best performing defenders in the Premier League, and has featured for his country at Under 19, 20 and 21 level, while with Manchester City.

Clubmates Tom Heaton and Michael Keane have shown you can earn a place in the squad on merit, despite being at one of the more unfashionable clubs in the top flight.

Mee is focused on maintaining his form for the Clarets, but he said: “I’ve always wanted to do that (play for England). It’s always been an ambition of mine.

“If someone takes notice of me, then great, but if not, I’ll keep playing well for the team.

“I’ll just concentrate on doing well for the club and if we can keep getting wins like last time out (against Crystal Palace) it’d be nice. I just want to keep performing and playing well.

“What will be will be. If someone takes notice, then happy days, but I just want to play well for the team. That’s what matters for me.”

Mee, named fans’ player of the year last season, has been a revelation since moving inside from left back at the turn of the year, and he has continued to impress in the Premier League: “I’ve been back playing centre-half now for 10 or 11 months and I’ve been pleased with the way I’ve been playing. I want to continue that because playing well for the team is everything. Performing for the boys is the biggest thing for me.”

l Sam Vokes played 90 minutes as Wales were held 1-1 by Serbia in Cardiff on Saturday in their World Cup qualifier. Tom Heaton was an unused substitute the night before as England beat Scotland 3-0 at Wembley, with Michael Keane failing to make the bench.

Jeff Hendrick also played 90 minutes as the Republic of Ireland won 1-0 in Austria, while Steven Defour started Belgium’s 1-1 draw with the Netherlands in Amsterdam on Wednesday night, and was an unused substitute in the 8-0 win over Estonia on Sunday.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson played 90 minutes as Iceland lost 2-0 in Croatia.