'Alfie's ready for the World Cup'

21st March
First team

Federico Fernandez reckons Alfie Mawson has the class to clinch a place at the World Cup as the Swansea City star gets set for a possible England debut.

And Fernandez, who has 32 Argentina caps, is also backing another Swans team-mate, Connor Roberts, to make his mark at international level after the youngster was summoned by new Wales boss Ryan Giggs.

Mawson hopes to make his senior international debut in the next week having received his first England call from Gareth Southgate for the friendlies against the Netherlands and Italy.

The former Barnsley centre-back has been one of the Swans’ most consistent performers this season, playing every minute of their Premier League campaign to date.

Fernandez went all the way to the 2010 World Cup final with Argentina, and believes the man he plays alongside at the heart of defence has the tools required to succeed in an England shirt.

“Alfie is a very good player,” Fernandez said.

“He has been very important for us and he deserves his chance with England.

“He has to enjoy this experience. Its massive to play for your country and I hope he can be part of the squad at the World Cup.”

Mawson was playing non-league football only four years ago but his rise since then has been rapid.

After moving to Swansea in 2016, Mawson was forced to wait for his chance initially, but he has since established himself as a regular.

“I think he is a player with big potential for England,” Fernandez added.

“He is training with the big players now and it will be a good experience for him.

“He has lots of talent and has a big future. This chance with his country is a reward for everything he has done.”

Roberts, meantime, is at the China Cup with Wales having been called up to the senior squad for the first time.

The 22-year-old has been rewarded for a number of positive displays in Swans colours since he made his debut for the club at the beginning of January.

“Connor is a young player who is taking the first steps in his career and he needs to keep building,” Fernandez added.

“He has a chance to play and train with some top players in the Wales squad.

“It will be a great experience for him. Then when he comes back here, he must look to keep on progressing with Swansea.”