For a number of Premier League faces, this month’s international break could represent a proud moment with several stars in line for first international appearances.
A whole host of Premier League players have been rewarded for strong starts to the season and we’ve profiled six who could make their international debuts in October.
Six Premier League players who could make their international debut this month:
Micky van de Ven – Netherlands
Micky van de Ven has made an immediate impression at Tottenham, with the summer signing having starred as the north Londoners have moved to the top of the Premier League table.
Spurs have had their best ever start to a Premier League campaign and are unbeaten after eight games this season, leading north London rivals Arsenal on goal difference. Van de Ven has formed an excellent centre-back partnership with Cristian Romero for Ange Postecoglou’s side, looking well worth the £34m investment it took to sign the 22-year-old from Wolfsburg.
Try to outrun Micky van de Ven if you can!
— Premier League (@premierleague) October 3, 2023
Van de Ven is comfortable in possession and rapid when recovering, attributes which have earned him a call-up to the Netherlands squad for fixtures with France and Greece. He will arrive in confident mood after scoring his first Spurs goal against Bournemouth last weekend, while the defender is one of seven uncapped players in Ronald Koeman’s squad.
Brighton goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen and Chelsea’s Ian Maatsen are also included. There could also be first appearances for Sparta Rotterdam ‘keeper Nick Olij, Feyenoord’s Quilindschy Hartman, Bayer Leverkusen wing-back Jeremie Frimpong and Ajax striker Brian Brobbey.
Eddie Nketiah – England
Eddie Nketiah earned his first England inclusion last month, but failed to feature in games with Ukraine and Scotland. The Arsenal forward has done enough to retain his place in Gareth Southgate’s plans however, as England take on Australia and Italy this month.
That first friendly fixture should provide Southgate with a chance to experiment ahead of a crunch qualification clash with the Italians. Nketiah – who has two goals in seven Premier League starts this season – turned down the chance to represent Ghana in favour of England and will hope to take his chance should it arrive this month.
The 24-year-old, who is England’s all-time record goalscorer at u21 level, will face competition from the recalled Ollie Watkins. Watkins has not been capped since scoring in a friendly win over the Ivory Coast in March 2022, but is back in the picture after scoring seven goals in 11 games for Aston Villa this season.
Malo Gusto – France
Malo Gusto could make his debut for France this month after the Chelsea right-back was a late call-up to Les Bleus’ squad to face the Netherlands and Scotland. The 20-year-old and uncapped RB Leipzig defender Castello Lukeba have been drafted in after injuries to Jules Kounde and Axel Disasi.
Gusto has made six Premier League appearances for Chelsea, providing two assists, since arriving from Lyon during the summer. The right-back has already set his sights on displacing Chelsea captain Reece James from the side on a regular basis.
“We give each other a lot of advice, he tries to help me and I try to help him as best I can,” Gusto told RMC Sport.
“On the pitch, it’s war, he knows it very well. We don’t necessarily do each other any favours and simply the best player will play.”
Destiny Udogie – Tottenham
Destiny Udogie has been another instant hit in Tottenham’s new-look team this season, thriving as an attack-minded full-back in Ange Postecoglou’s plan.
Spurs have had their best start to a season since 1960, a campaign which saw the north Londoners go on to win a domestic double. The 20-year-old has earned eight caps for Italy at u-21 level and could now make his debut for the senior side after head coach Luciano Spalletti included Udogie for Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and England.
Congratulations to Destiny Udogie and Guglielmo Vicario who were called up for Italy! 🇮🇹 🌟 pic.twitter.com/H9awffnH4G
— Tottenham Tiers (@TottenhamTiers) October 6, 2023
Udogie could face Spurs teammate James Maddison in the second of those fixtures and the midfielder has been full of praise for Udogie’s early performances in the Premier League.
“Destiny is just a beast, man. He’s so good. When I talk about learning and adapting with the manager’s new style, him playing inside is not natural to him. He’s still working on that himself,” Maddison said (via football.london).
“He’s actually better on the ball and he can take the ball and dribble in the middle of the pitch and open it up for us. He’s got good receiving skills and he’s so powerful and so good.”
Spurs goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario has been included in recent squads and is again back in the fold, though the 27-year-old is still awaiting his first Italy appearance.
Levi Colwill – England
Levi Colwill joined the aforementioned Eddie Nketiah in England’s squad for September’s international break, but also failed to feature.
The 20-year-old is the first from the England u-21 side that won the European Championship last summer to graduate to Southgate’s set-up, having starred as the Young Lions won the tournament without conceding a goal.
A strong start to the season at Chelsea has earned senior recognition, with Colwill’s natural left foot, versatility and expansive passing range attributes that will appeal to England.
One of England’s brightest emerging talents, expect him to receive minutes this month as Southgate runs the rule over the Chelsea centre-back.
— England (@England) October 5, 2023
Toti Gomes – Wolves
Toti Gomes’ form for Wolves last season saw him named in the Portugal squad for the first time in May, with the defender calling the call-up a ‘dream come true’.
He failed to feature then, but is back in Roberto Martinez’s plans for October’s break as Portugal look to maintain their 100% record in qualification and confirm entry to the European Championship.
Gomes began the campaign out of favour at Wolves but has started each of the club’s last two league fixtures, as Gary O’Neil’s team have impressed to take four points from fixtures with Manchester City and Aston Villa.
Wolves’ teammates Pedro Neto, Nelson Semedo and Jose Sa, the latter also uncapped, are also part of Portugal’s plans.