Canaries duo on course to become full internationals
- Credit: PA
Norwich City duo Max Aarons and Jacob Sorensen are in prime position to become full internationals, according to a new study by statistics experts.
The CIES Football Observatory, based in Switzerland, has published a list of 'likely future full internationals', of under-23 players with the best credentials to make full international debuts for the 20 teams at the top of the Fifa rankings.
This is decided on 'the experience level that eligible footballers have accumulated during the last year' and with game time 'weighted by sporting level of employment teams or competitions played'.
Canaries right-back Aarons features in the top 10 for English players and Sorensen is flagged as being on course to become a full Denmark international.
The study places England U21 regular Aarons fifth among the young English contenders, with Leicester full-back James Justin ranked number one ahead of Burnley winger Dwight McNeil and Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.
There is a fellow Championship player in fourth, Brentford midfielder Josh Dasilva, and a former City player in seventh, Marcus Edwards. The attacking midfielder made just one brief appearance for Norwich in March 2018 during an unsuccessful loan stint from Tottenham, when he was an unused substitute for three other games.
Edwards, 22, played regularly in the Dutch top flight for Excelsior the next season but after being released by Spurs in 2019 he joined Portuguese side Vitoria Guimaraes and has got his career back on track with regular top-flight goal contributions.
Tellingly for Aarons' prospects, it is his former Luton Town youth team-mate Justin at the top of the list having impressed at right-back and left-back for Leicester in the Premier League and Europa League this season, although the Foxes prospect has just suffered the cruel blow of a serious knee injury ending his season early.
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The Canaries star, who has nine U21 caps, faces a big job to breakthrough at senior level for England - particularly unless City can seal promotion back to the Premier League.
The likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker and Reece James are all available to Gareth Southgate and Brighton speedster Tariq Lamptey is strong competition for him at U21 level, who is due to return from two months out injured soon.
Manchester United's Aaron Wan-Bissaka is also in the mix while Jayden Bogle has been playing in the top flight for Sheffield United this season and Ainsley Maitland-Niles has played at right-back for Arsenal, although appears to be playing in midfield now he is on loan at West Brom.
The immediate concern for Aarons will be U21 duty, with the group stages of the European U21 Championship being held in Hungary and Slovenia during the international break next month.
Former Canaries team-mate Ben Godfrey is likely to be involved, unless his Everton form earns a senior call, and Norwich colleague Todd Cantwell will be hoping his strong Championship form will reclaim his place in the squad.
The Young Lions face Switzerland, Portugal and Croatia, with Aidy Boothroyd looking to guide his team to the knockout stages, which are due to begin at the end of May.
It's a similar story for City defensive midfielder Sorensen, who covered so well at left-back for much of his first season in England - with Denmark also having qualified.
Games against France, Russia and Iceland await during the group stages next month, with Sorensen making three appearances as a centre-back earlier in qualification.
The study places the 22-year-old sixth in their list of U23 contenders to earn a senior cap for Denmark, with two other players based in England included on the list, Preston forward Emil Riis and Brentford defender Mads Bech.
- Click here to see the full report from the CIES Football Observatory