Germany manager Joachim Low may be able to select from a stellar cast in Paris next week, but Leeds United’s Stuart Dallas believes Northern Ireland skipper Steven Davis is his country’s underrated gem.
Michael O’Neill’s side were back at their training base on Saturday as they cranked up preparations for their final Euro 2016 Group C clash, against the reigning World Cup holders on Tuesday.
Having already shackled Poland’s Robert Lewandowski and kept Ukraine’s Andriy Yarmolenko quiet in France, Northern Ireland now have to work out how to stop the likes of Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil and Toni Kroos.
Their opponents may not have as many household names to concern themselves with, though Dallas has pinpointed Southampton midfielder Davis as a player worthy of consideration alongside the elite.
“’Davo’ is quality and without doubt one of the best players in the Premier League,” the 25-year-old winger said.
“As Michael said, he only gets seconds on Match of the Day. I have always said that he doesn’t get the credit he deserves.
“In my opinion he would get into any side in the Premier League, any side, and to be playing alongside someone like him is unbelievable and it’s unbelievable for us. It helps us so much and I can’t speak highly enough of him.”
Northern Ireland head to Paris knowing that Thursday night’s win over Ukraine has guaranteed them at least third place in Group C, a position which may yet be good enough to advance to the last 16 with the four best third-placed teams qualifying.
That means that even a loss to the Germans, which would be their second in the group following an opening defeat to Poland, may not dash Northern Ireland’s hopes of going through.
“We set out to win the game and we did that, so we’ve given ourselves the best chance possible of something to play for in the last game,” Dallas added.
“We’re full of confidence, and even after the Poland game, even though we were a bit down, we knew we could turn things around. Nobody stops believing, that’s the one thing about us.”