He’s seventh on the all-time Premier League goal scorers list, led the line for the likes of Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester City and is considered one of the best players to have played at Anfield, but Robbie Fowler still has one major regret about his playing career – England.

Despite scoring goals for fun in the Premier League, Fowler never found himself at the front of the queue for England caps. During his career, he earnt 26 of them and was included in three tournament squads. However, this was also a time when England had an embarrassment of riches up front – something Fowler acknowledges.

Alan Shearer, a young Michael Owen, Teddy Sheringham, Les Ferdinand, Chris Sutton… Fowler was one of many great English centre forwards at the time.

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“I was unlucky because there was that many good players about,” he exclusively told UCFB during a recent LMA Insight interview. “I look back on my England career as bitter-sweet, if you like. I would have preferred a lot more caps.”

However, you get the sense that Fowler feels aggrieved about his time with the Three Lions. He added: “I think I’d scored almost 100 goals before I got my first cap. If I was playing now… if I played ten games as an English forward I’d be guaranteed more or less to be in that squad. If I’d scored 98 goals, I’d be captain – I think I’d probably be managing the team!”

Fowler scored seven goals in 26 appearances for England, and marked his last appearance for the Three Lions under Sven-Goran Eriksson against Denmark at the 2002 World Cup.

Reflecting back further, Fowler said: “Managers have their own prerogative of who they want to bring in, their team and whatever formation they want to play in, but it’s hard for players to accept that.”

The 45-year-old added: “It’s not something that I will look back on fondly and think I had this great England career because in all fairness, I didn’t. I got 26 caps, but I think I only started 12 games. I’m happy with my goals per game ratio but am I happy with my caps, probably not. I should have had a lot more.”