Lewis Dunk news: What did the centre-back say about his return to England squad after five years?

Dunk played an important role at the heart of the defence to help Brighton supporters enjoy a dream season last time out.

File photo of Brighton & Hove Albion players; Credit: Twitter/ @OfficialBHAFC
By Karthik Raman | Sep 7, 2023 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Lewis Dunk has been enjoying a dream time of late at both club and international level. The centre-back played an important role in helping Brighton & Hove Albion secure an unlikely Europa League ticket last season. Not many fancied Brighton to finish sixth in the Premier League last term, however, Roberto De Zerbi’s side defied odds to have a memorable campaign. Dunk played an important role at the heart of the defence to help Brighton supporters enjoy a dream season.

The 31-year-old defender is happy with how things have turned out with him lately and hopes to continue it for longer. “When I sit down and think it’s been a great journey so far and an enjoyable one – and it’s not ending anytime soon. I’m 31 but still learning every day, especially from this manager (Roberto De Zerbi). I feel good in myself and want to keep pushing myself at the highest level by playing in Europe and being in the England setup,” he explained.

I’m delighted to be back: Lewis Dunk

It is important to note that the last time Dunk secured an England national team call up was in 2018. The next time he was selected for the national team duties was in June, however, injury prevented him from participating in it. “Getting called up after a long time and then injury ruling me out was obviously frustrating, but I had a good conversation with Gareth [Southgate] at the time and he said he would be watching at the start of the season. I’m delighted to be back,” he was quoted as saying by the club’s website.

“It was a long wait and after five years of not being in the squad you start thinking ‘is it time that I won’t get back in again?’ All I did was focus on my playing for Brighton and trying to be the best I can and I’m here now. Once you make your debut you think I could stick around, but it is not always the case – there are many players who played games and are not in the next squad. At the time there must have been people performing better than me. So, you look at yourself, try to improve and keep working hard and now I’ve earned a way back in.”

Dunk then shifted his attention to Brighton and its manager Roberto De Zerbi. The defender is all praise for the style of play De Zerbi has brought into the team. “Since he came in I see football in a completely different way. The idea of what I did before I thought made sense but then you learn something different, you start to believe in it and it makes sense. You think ‘why didn’t I know this?’ and ‘why didn’t I do this before?’ I’m talking about our style of play and when to release the ball. All our games now are about pressure, playing with opposition teams when they are pressing high and pressing low. When to pass the ball, the timing of that and the timing of movement. Before, I didn’t really know about that,” he explained.

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