Burnley striker Ashley Barnes should be serving club AND country, says leading scorer Chris Wood

Burnley striker Ashley Barnes
Burnley striker Ashley Barnes
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Burnley’s Chris Wood is still scratching his head as to why strike partner Ashley Barnes hasn’t yet received his first international call-up.

Both England boss Gareth Southgate and Austria coach Franco Foda were in attendance when the club’s all-time leading scorer in the Premier League scored a late winner at home to Spurs in February.

The 29-year-old, who has hit double figures in the top flight for the second season in succession, had been on the former Bayer Leverkusen defender’s radar for some time now.

The German, who took charge of nearly 400 games for Austrian Bundesliga outfit Sturm Graz, was in attendance at the London Stadium last season when Barnes netted twice in a 3-0 victory over West Ham United.

And at that point Foda’s pursuit of the one-time Brighton forward gathered pace with hopes that Barnes, who qualifies through his grandmother, would be installed in time for the UEFA European Championship qualifiers.

However, nothing materialised amid reports that his application for Austrian citizenship was rejected by the Austrian Ministry of the Interior.

Speaking about Barnes, who expressed a desire to play for the Three Lions despite having represented ‘Das Team’ at Under 20 level, Wood, a New Zealand international, said: “I am surprised because he causes defences a hell of a lot of problems.

“He could do that on the international stage as well. I’d like to think he will get one very soon. He should have had one by now. He’s a menace, causes a lot of problems. I’m just glad I don’t have to defend against him.

“England don’t have anyone like him, I think he would add value to the England squad, definitely.

“He’s scoring goals but he also does well to get other people into positions to score some goals. He has an all round game, he works tirelessly on centre halves and doesn’t give them a minute’s peace.”