Everton: Call-Up to England Squad for Leon Osman Is Well Deserved

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistNovember 8, 2012

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29:  Leon Osman of Everton celebrates after scoring his goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Southampton at Goodison Park on September 29, 2012 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

When England manager Roy Hodgson released his roster for the Three Lions' friendly against Sweden on Wednesday, one of the surprise names on the roster was Everton midfielder Leon Osman.

Osman, 31, has never played for England but has made over 250 appearances for Everton, the only club he has played for during his professional career.

Osman has been a stalwart in the Toffees midfield since being handed a permanent spot in the starting 11 by David Moyes at the beginning of the 2004-05 season.

Everyone who follows the English Premier League knows about Osman and his consistent play in the midfield at the club level, but he was never considered for the England squad.

In a league where change is expected in any club's starting 11, Osman has been at the one club where consistency has been a key to staying in the top flight.

Osman is not the only player who has been at Goodison Park for quite some time.

The 31-year-old's partner in crime in the midfield since 2005 has been Phil Neville, who once played for England before retiring from international football in 2007.

Osman and Neville have played alongside each other since 2005 and have built the core of an Everton team that consistently finishes in the top 10 each season.

Osman is also the latest Everton player to be rewarded for his strong play for the Toffees as defenders Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines have been brought into the England lineup and have stayed in the Three Lions fold since their debuts.

Now, Osman is finally getting his shot at being a member of the England squad, and although it may not be a permanent position like the one he has at Everton, it will still be a moment of a lifetime for the midfielder.

There will plenty of major storylines in the English camp going into Wednesday's match, including Hodgson's return to Sweden, where he managed in the 1980s, the possible debut of 17-year-old Raheem Sterling and the 100th appearance by Steven Gerrard for his country.

However, for fans of Everton, the potential debut of Osman in an England shirt will be the biggest story on Wednesday as a lifelong player for the Toffees will finally be rewarded for his great play at the club level for the last nine seasons.