Sometimes your luck just isn’t in when it comes to international recognition, and for Aston Villa’s Anwar El Ghazi, that is certainly the case.
The forward has been a regular for Villa and impressed as well, playing a big role in their promotion and subsequent stay in the Premier League.
Despite that, he’s yet to earn any recent international recognition, with his only two appearances for the Netherlands coming in 2015.
None have followed since, despite his strong performances, leading to questions in the Netherlands about what’s going on.
The Aston Villa man was handed hope by new boss Louis van Gaal recently when he suggested he would be keeping an eye on the forward as he looked for alternatives behind his first-choice stars.
It seems words are weak, though, as the Dutch coach has elected to ignore El Ghazi for his latest preliminary squad ahead of the next international break.
NOS explain that El Ghazi ‘did not make’ the pre-selection despite Van Gaal having announced he ‘would be looking’ at the Aston Villa forward.
Instead, he’s elected to go with Club Brugge’s Noa Lang, who is now the ‘preferred’ option as a backup for Steven Berghuis on the right-wing.
Few would argue against that in reality, given Lang’s recent performances, but it does seem slightly harsh on El Ghazi after Van Gaal’s recent encouraging comments.
It seems he’ll have to content himself with life at Villa Park for the time being and hope that his performances make an international return inevitable.