It was great to see Jesse Lingard join Declan Rice in reporting for duty for England last month.
The photo of him arriving at England’s training camp wearing a West Ham tracksuit was great to see and highlights the fact that this move has been win-win for everyone.
He’s been great for us. We’ve got a quality international player with proven ability at the right end of the Premier League.
For him, we’ve given him the chance to show Gareth Southgate what he can do and he’s got back into the England squad. If he was still at Manchester United, he wouldn’t have been even close to getting a call-up because he just wasn’t getting the minutes on the pitch.
Long may Lingard continue to perform on the pitch for us, and while Lingard is back where he wants to be on the international scene, Antonio is all at sea.
He last made England squads in 2016 and 2017 but hadn’t won a cap. He was approached by Jamaica – where his parents were born – and Sky Sports reported Michail has decided his international future lies with them.
But then the squad was announced for Jamaica’s friendly against the US and Antonio wasn’t named in the squad. Maybe he’s still weighing up his options?
He’s probably thinking there are plenty of players ahead of him in the England squad and that he’s not getting any younger.
This could be the right choice for him and it’s always a great personal accolade to play internationally.
If he does make future squads and goes onto win caps for Jamaica, it’s going to be interesting to see how it all pans out. With his injury record of late, plus the extra air miles he’d be clocking up, it could have a negative impact.
But equally, the boost of playing on the international stage and attempting to qualify for the World Cup could see him scoring for them and take his game to another level for us.
Nobes’ final bow
One player who never played for England, and quite possibly should have, is Mark Noble.
I think it was inevitable that he was going to get an extra year with what’s happened over the past year and how long he has been with the club.
He’s not been getting much game time this season but his importance to us isn’t just what he can do on the pitch.
It’s what we don’t see, in the dressing room and on the training pitch between matchdays. There’s no doubt that Noble is a modern-day legend. A West Ham legend in the Premier League era.
You’re not going to see many other one-club footballers who have a testimonial because of their long service.