Alfie Mawson is hoping to become a regular in the Fulham side and force his way into the England squad at the same time. The 24-year-old made his debut for his new team in Tuesday’s 2-0 EFL Cup victory over Exeter, and was joined in central defence by the on-loan Calum Chambers, with whom he excelled for the England Under-21s.
Gareth Southgate, who today selects his squad for fixtures against Spain and Switzerland, has told the uncapped Mawson he needs to be performing in the Premier League if he is to feature for England.
Before impressing for Swansea as they unsuccessfully fought relegation last season, Mawson shone in a defensive partnership with Chambers during England Under-21s’ run to the semi-finals of the 2017 European Championships.
Their partnership justified their selections over Jack Stephens and Rob Holding, and with Gary Cahill stepping down from international duty, Mawson said: “The last time I spoke to (Southgate) I was at Swansea. He said, ‘Realistically if you want to get back into (the squad) obviously the Premier League is a must’.
“Which was always a positive coming here to a side that plays such exciting football. My first and foremost thing is to get into this side and I’m sure if I do well and I play well then Gareth will make a decision.
“I respect whatever decision he makes but I’ve had a taste for it (when being called up in March) and I would like to get the full thing.
“I’m not going to get picked for England if I’m not even in the starting XI for the Premier League side. That’s the most important thing and whatever I can do on top of that, then fantastic. My main aim is to get into the side and cement my position.
“I know Calum from the England Under-21s. We’re really good pals and we’ve got a really good understanding and friendship off the pitch which comes on to the pitch because Cal’s such a fantastic player.
“He’s more of a technical player. Normally I’m more of a talker and we work really well like we did for England and whatever (Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic) wants to do we’ll respect.
“If he does it with me and Cal then we’ve got that understanding straightaway, and it’s always helpful to have that.”