LONDON (Reuters) – Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor should be called up by England after his heroic performance in shutting out Anzhi Makhachkala helped the club into the Europa League quarter-finals, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa said.
The French international watched on as Taylor, sometimes single-handedly, kept the big-spending Russians and their prolific striker Samuel Eto’o at bay over 180 minutes in Newcastle’s 1-0 aggregate win.
Taylor’s eye-catching display came hours after Roy Hodgson had named his England squad for back-to-back World Cup qualifiers next week where he chose to omit the Newcastle man who has yet to play a senior international for his country.
"I think he’s got every chance to get an international call-up and if he goes out and continues to play as well as he is week in and week out, then the international manager is going to see that," defender Yanga-Mbiwa told the club’s website (www.nufc.co.uk.).
"He knows the culture of the English game very well and he’s someone I try to listen to a lot and learn from a lot."
Newcastle will face Benfica in the Europa League last eight and all of sudden their season looks rosy after a more bleak outlook at the start of the year with a relegation battle on the cards.
Newcastle have all but assured their Premier League status for next season after a good run of form has helped them climb to 13th.
The return of France international Yohan Cabaye from injury has also boosted the club though the midfielder limped off in the first half against Anzhi on Thursday and is likely to miss their Premier League clash against Wigan Athletic on Sunday.
"It’s my groin, which has given me some problems this season and I’m still cautious about it so I just wanted to keep my groin good," said Cabaye.
"We’ll see tomorrow but I don’t think it’s a bad injury," added the Frenchman, who was hopeful of facing former European champions Benfica over two legs in April.
(Writing by Tom Pilcher, editing by Pritha Sarkar)