At last a bit of sense about Lewis Dunk.

It came from a former Republic of Ireland international, albeit one born and raised in southern England.

And it was a nice change from the criticism that seems to have followed news that the Albion skipper will go to Euro 2024 with the Three Lions.

Andy Townsend was the man responsible as he spoke on TalkSPORT yesterday morning.

Marc Guehi is being quoted as 1/6 to start the first game against Serbia with Dunk an outsider at 6/1.

Serbia’s attack is led by an old adversary of Dunk’s in Aleksandar Mitrovic and Juventus forward Dusan Vlahovic.

Townsend, however, has Dunk in his preferred XI for the Gelsenkirchen clash on Sunday evening.

The former Chelsea, Aston Villa, Southampton and Norwich midfielder said: “I think Lewis Dunk will do well.

“I think England need really solid defenders.

“I know he made a mistake in that game (versus Belgium) when he got caught in that left gully a little bit with a bad first touch.

“Someone went at him and punished him but that happens.

“That’s international football for you but I like him.

“I think he’s a very solid dependable guy.”

Albion fans know how good Dunk can be and the fact he is a modern, multi-faceted centre-back rather than an old-fashioned No.5.

There are some who would also suggest he was playing better when he was being left out of England squads.

But he has still grown and learned a lot over the last season and added to his passing game.

Dunk is an interesting option in that he is an experienced defender but a relative newcomer to the international stage.

Scrutiny in an England shirt is very different to that when playing for Albion.

The error to which Townsend referred was one of three very similar bad moments in the season just gone by.

They were all in the demands of international action, for club and country, and happened in three very similar scenarios.

First came the mistake which led to Marseille scoring their second goal at Stade Velodrome.

Then came the slip-up which let in Romelu Lukaku to also open a 2-0 lead for AS Roma at the Stadio Olimpico.

And the error under a degree of pressure from the same Lukaku when Belgium scored against England at Wembley.

All were made as he covered across to the left-back position.

All would have been remedied with a hefty boot into Row Z.

All were surprising as they came in situations which seemed to be totally under control.

If he is played on the right of the central duo, one would imagine it would reduce the chances of him being in such positions.

But Dunk has played in 12 international matches, for England or in the Europa League, and has clearly earned a degree of trust from Gareth Southgate over an extended period, not as a flavour of the month.

That includes work on the ball, where his 93 accurate passes per game was beaten only by Rodri at Manchester City in the Prem.

Perhaps significantly, he also ranks in the top ten for accurate long passes, delivered when Albion looked to vary their game as sides pressed high.

Dunk has established a strong defensive reputation over several seasons in the top tier and that should not be overlooked.

And there are a couple more aspects that might be taken into account.

Speaking about the squad selection recently, leading football writer Henry Winter said Maguire offered a threat at set-pieces and could fire home a penalty in a shoot-out.

Those are both areas where Dunk can contribute.

He should probably produce more than he has at corners and free-kicks but we know he can get his head on such deliveries, as was the case when Jude Bellingham equalised right at the end at home to Belgium.

And his record down the years in penalty shoot-outs for Albion is good.

Could it come to that? A penalty shoot-out?

Probably. This is England at a major tournament after all.