Chelsea: John Terry congratulates Aston Villa star after first England call-up | Football


Ezri Konsa has been called up to the England squad for the very first time (Photo: Getty)

Aston Villa’s Ezri Konsa has been congratulated by Chelsea legend John Terry after getting called up to the England squad for the first time.

Gareth Southgate’s final Three Lions squad of 2023 has been badly affected by injuries, with Jude Bellingham, Levi Colwill, James Maddison, Callum Wilson and Lewis Dunk all pulling out.

Additionally, Marcus Rashford and Kalvin Phillips will not join up with the rest of the squad until later this week due to personal reasons.

As such, Southgate called up the uncapped trio of Konsa, Chelsea’s Cole Palmer and Manchester City’s Rico Lewis on Monday.

England have already qualified for Euro 2024 and could well use their last two qualifying games against Malta and North Macedonia to experiment a little with personnel ahead of next summer’s tournament.

The 26-year-old has put in impressive performances for Villa for a number of years, where he met Terry who served as assistant manager under Dean Smith from 2018 to 2021.

And the former Chelsea and England defender was keen to praise his former player, writing on Instagram: ‘Congratulations Ezri Konsa.

Aston Villa v Southampton - Premier League

John Terry was assistant manager at Aston Villa from 2018 to 2021 (Photo: Getty)

‘So happy for you mate, you have been excellent and so consistent over the last three years and fully deserve this. Enjoy it Ez… Just the start.’

‘It means a lot coming from a legend like John Terry,’ Konsa said in a press conference on Tuesday.

‘I worked with him for two years and he really helped my game. I used to ask him a lot of questions on how he was able to maintain playing at such a high level, and he gave me a lot of advice and I definitely took that on and it’s helped me become the player I am.

Konsa was part of the England squad that won the U20 World Cup in 2017 (Photo: Getty)

‘He was in touch with me, sent me a nice little message. He just said congratulations, that I need to enjoy it and be myself.’

For Konsa, a call-up to the national team has been a long time coming, having won the Under-20 World Cup in 2017 alongside the likes of Fikayo Tomori and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

‘I knew I had a lot to work on in my game. Only recently now, the last two seasons, we’ve excelled at Villa and that part of it has helped me become the player I am today,’ he added.

‘I knew my time would come, but it was just a matter of when. I was patient, and I’m proud and me and my family are really happy.

‘I’ve always believed in myself, always backed myself. I’m really enjoying my football now at the moment and the rest is taking care of itself.

‘I think that’s every player’s target, to go to major tournaments and play for your country. So that’s definitely on my mind and definitely something I plan on doing.’

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