Category: England- Squad analysis

Ranking England’s midfield options?

England’s new riddle in the middle. Regardless of formation England need to improve in central midfield, England need a holding player (Dier) and a more attack minded partner. The problem is the lack of outstanding options, back in 2006 England had Beckham, Gerrard, Lampard, Carrick, Hargreaves & Jenas, any of whom would now be first name on the team. Now we have promising youngsters not quite ready, veterans in their twilight and injury prone players who should be in there prime, time are tough.

  1. (1) Eric Dier– Still not in his best form and needs a more forward thinking partner in England’s midfield. But the one player on this list nailed on for Russia.
  2. (8) Harry Winks- It’s damming with faint praise to say he’s the biggest winner from England’s last 2 games. But Winks provides the more attacking option that England otherwise lack. Level headed and hard working and playing for the best developer of young talent in the league, the only issue with Winks is his inexperience and he faces tough competition for a start at Tottenham.
  3. (2) Jordan Henderson– Awful for England since the start of the season, I suspect Henderson isn’t the shoe-in many think, unless his Liverpool form improves. The problem with Henderson is he lacks the positional discipline to be a holding midfielder or the passing range to be a deep lying playmaker he’s a jack of all trades and master of none, if others get their form and fitness together I think Henderson will miss the boat (or more specifically plane.)
  4. (12) Fabian Delph- Having got back in The City team and Pep’s good books for his ‘kindness’ an England recall became inevitable as was him going down injured. But if he retains his club form he will get his 10th cap next month. Delph won’t solve England’s creative void but he might provide an alternative to Dier screening the defence.
  5. (3) Jack Wilshere- Hasn’t started a Premier League game this season and widely linked with a recall- a sentence that perfectly sums up Wilshere’s career. He has at least put his worst injury problems behind him (touch wood) and his Europa League form is a reminder of his undoubted talent, but he needs games to get back in the England set up, his flat performances at Euro 2016 were a reminder of the risks of taking an undercooked Wilshere even when he isn’t injured.
  6. (6) Nathaniel Chalobah– Would have got his debut last week were it not for a badly timed injury that will keep him out until New Year. That means Chalobah will only have the 2 spring internationals to make his case for the World Cup. A favourite of Southgate from the under 21s Chalobah remains in contention for the plan b holding midfielder for when Dier picks up the inevitable suspension.
  7. (4) Jake Livermore- ‘We can consider this season a failure for young English midfielders if Livermore is still 4th on this list in May’ I said in August, an by the reckoning things are improving. Livermore has struggled to find his best form at West Brom and didn’t play a minute last week in a squad with only 4 central midfielders, still has 5 caps to tell his grandchildren about.
  8. (13) Danny Drinkwater- If Wilshere can’t get a run at Arsenal Drinkwater will be the passing midfielder England will need to look at. Drinkwater’s skill set is a good fit for Chelsea, the problem is he needs to displace at least one of Kante, Bakayoko or Fabregas. I suspect Drinkwater will get his chance once the schedule starts to bite so I doubt he’ll be in England contention in November, March however…
  9. (5) James Ward-Prowse- A neat and tidy player who could upgrade England’s options at set pieces, lost his place at Southampton to Mario Lemina, he needs to force his way back in at Southampton to rekindle his England chances.
  10. (7) Tom Davies– Had a great breakout season last term, now in the maelstrom of chaos that is Everton’s midfield. He’s playing far better than Morgan Schniederlin but we’ll need to see where the pieces fall when the chopping and changing finishes at Goodison. For now he’s a regular in a fine Under 21 side.
  11. (11) Ruben Loftus-Cheek- The tallest hobbit in the Shire of Crystal Palace. Loftus-Cheek is getting plenty of game time in a rotten side and will likely stay with the Under 21s until after the World Cup.
  12. (NE) Jonjo Shelvey– Chris Waddle thinks he should be, there again he also thought a mullet looked good for almost a decade. He does have a fine passing range but discipline is a major issue. Needs a great season and no more red cards- the later half of that looks the bigger challenge.
  13. (10) Lewis Cook- A World Cup winning captain but not yet a regular for Bournemouth. A huge talent and if he gets a regular game a contender for the midfield linkman role. His time will come but not yet.
  14. (14) Michael Carrick- He’s 36 but is ‘guaranteed to get a mention every time England or Man Utd fail to pass the ball well’ was my opinion in August, but he needs to get back in the Manchester United team first to remind his many fans in the press of his merits.
  15. (NE) Tom Carroll– a tidy player playing well but under the radar at Swansea. Good but not necessarily better than Henderson.

Dropping off the chart: Tom Cleverley, Will Hughes

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Destination Russia

So it’s official- England will be at the 2018 World Cup finals. The next question is who will make the squad. Using the tabloids favourite cliche of airport terminology to illustrate who gets in the squad (or as they say who makes the plane) here’s a quick guide to who’s in, out and maybe

Boarding Pass for Moscow Domodedovo:

If you’re here then barring injury or a dramatic loss of form you will go to the World Cup with England;

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart, Jack Butland

Fullbacks: Kyle Walker

Centre backs: Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, John Stones

Central midfielders: Eric Dier

Attacking midfield/ wingers: Dele Alli, Adam Lallana,

Forwards: Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Jamie Vardy

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Sat in the Terminal 5 Departure Lounge:

If you’re here you’re close to going- maybe one good appearance from boarding the plane or perhaps in a 50/50 battle with another player for your place- nobody wants to be 24th man for England- somebody on this list will be;

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Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford, Fraser Forster, Tom Heaton

Fullbacks: Nathaniel Clyne, Kieran Trippier, Danny Rose, Ryan Bertrand, Luke Shaw

Centre backs: Michael Keane, Chris Smalling, Harry Maguire

Central midfielders: Nathaniel Chalobah, Jake Livermore, Fabian Delph, Harry Winks, Jack Wilshere, Jordan Henderson

Attacking midfield/ wingers: Raheem Sterling, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jesse Lingard, Ross Barkley

Forwards: Danny Welbeck, Daniel Sturridge, Jermain Defoe

Rushing for the Heathrow Express:

If you’re here you might go but you’ve got a lot of work to do. Maybe you’re a young player trying to break through or you’re settling at a new club or returning from injury- it’s a long time until the manager names his 23- at this point in the build up to Euro 2016 Marcus Rashford was still in the Man Utd youth team!

Goalkeepers: Freddie Woodman

Fullbacks: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Aaron Cresswell, Ryan Sessegnon, Ben Chilwell

Centre backs: Jamaal Lascelles, Alfie Mawson

Central midfielders: James Ward-Prowse, Danny Drinkwater, Tom Davies, Ruben Loftus-Cheek

Attacking midfield/ wingers: Theo Walcott, Nathan Redmond, Jadon Sancho, Phil Foden, Demarai Gray

Forwards: Tammy Abraham, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Solanke

Boarding the flight to Maui:

If you’re here you ain’t going to the World Cup (this time at least) perhaps you went before on those brief trips to Brazil or South Africa or you’re still young and may spend Christmas 2022 in Qatar. OK the vast majority of English footballers won’t be representing their country next summer in Russia. But if you’re like stars here you are a highly paid well known (and maybe even liked) footballer and Hawaii is lovely in June.

Goalkeepers: Ben Foster

Fullbacks: Glenn Johnson, Leighton Baines, Mason Holgate

Centre backs: Ben Mee, Rob Holding, Callum Chambers

Central midfielders: Lewis Cook, Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Jonjo Shelvey, Tom Carroll

Attacking midfield/ wingers: Marc Albrighton, Ademola Lookman, Josh Onamah, Andros Townsend, Scott Sinclair

Forwards: Andy Carroll, Jay Rodriguez, Andre Gray. Saido Berahino

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Updated: England’s Centre Back options

Back in pre-season I ranked England’s centre back options, 2 months on things have been shaken up for the better with Phil Jones much improved and some promising young defenders making their mark. previous ranking in brackets…

1. (1) Gary Cahill

‘A nailed on starter but for how much longer?’ I said in the summer, answer- until next July. Despite that opening day red card Cahill remains England first choice and a solid season at Chelsea will consolidate his place in the team

2. (5) Phil Jones

It looked grim for Jones in the summer but he’s been a Premier League ever present this term. Still has a mistake in him (as demonstrated against Stoke) but has been mostly strong, tough and reliable. Started both England qualifiers in September and unless usurped by Victor Lindelof at Old Trafford a squad certainty for Russia. If he could just learn to pass the ball!skysports-phil-jones-england-slovakia_4091876

3. (2) John Stones

Stones has had an excellent few weeks, in the most in form team in the country and even doubled his career goal tally against Feyenoord. His ability has never been in doubt but must keep it together when City face opponents with the capacity to fightback. I’ve said before England’s limited midfield options make a ball playing defender a key need next summer- a good season defensively and Stones will be that man.

4. (3) Michael Keane

Has enjoyed a solid start at Everton, making himself first choice centre back ahead of veterans Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams. Impressive on debut Keane’s status as a key man at Everton should retain his place in the squad, but needs a solid season to become a big one to make it into the first 11.

5. (4) Chris Smalling

Gareth Southgate has made it clear to play for England means you must be a regular for your club- if the manager is as good as is word Smalling’s days are numbered. Yet to start a Premier League match this season Smalling is regressing (even further!). Needs a January move or an injury crisis to retain his England place, one to watch when the next England squad is announced.

6. (9) Harry Maguire

Got a deserved first call up in September after an excellent start to his Leicester career. Maguire has shown and composure in possession seemingly making him a good fit for international football. But Southgate cut him from the squad before facing Slovakia preferring Smalling & Keane on the bench. With Smalling struggling at United, Maguire may just jump ahead of him in the pecking order this month. With the last qualifier in Lithuania likely to be a dead rubber don’t be surprised to see him make his debut.

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7. (NE) Jamaal Lascelles

The Newcastle captain has been the best player of the Rafa Benitez era at St James Park (and to think Steve McClaren didn’t rate him). At 23 and on an upward curve an England call up surely isn’t far away.

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8. (6) Alfie Mawson

Hasn’t done a lot wrong (aside from that late collapse against United!) but flashier performances from Lascelles and Maguire have moved him down the pecking order. But is developing into an excellent centre back under the tutelage of Paul Clement at Swansea, I suspect he’ll get his chance after the World Cup.

9. (NE) Ben Mee

Many a England manager wouldn’t go to Burnley to look at possible new caps. But Southgate went there for Michael Keane and West Brom for Jake Livermore so Mee might just be on the England radar. At 28 it’s now or never and Mee does strike me a Ryan Shawcross level defender who isn’t quite up to International football. But his club form has been excellent so a cap might just come.

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10. (7) Rob Holding

Oh dear! Holding’s confidence looks shot from Arsenal’s leaky start to the season and the recent upturn in the Gooners defensive fortunes came when Holding was left out in favour of Mustafi. Still a promising player Holding is approaching an early crossroads in his career with a regular start at the Emirates or the next Callum Chambers his options. For now it’s the Europa League and Carabao Cup.

Dropping off the chart: Callum Chambers & Ben Gibson.

 

England’s goalkeeping options

In the last of my pre-season assessments of the England squad, I’m looking at the goalies. For the first time since David Seaman & Nigel Martyn vied for the No1 shirt there’s positive competition for the jersey, here are the contenders;

1. Jack Butland

So unlucky to pick up that long term injury in Germany. Finally back to full fitness Butland must be the favourite to start in September if he shows the sort of form he illustrated on his international return against the French. Butland has looked outstanding since joining Stoke with an unflappable temperament complementing the great saves.ENGLAND-503957

2. Joe Hart

Since acquiring the gloves in 2010 Hart finally has genuine challengers in Butland & Pickford. His form over the last year has been patchy at best with a hit and miss loan spell at Torino following on from his awful showing at Euro 2016. Now looking to a fresh start at West Ham he’ll get lots of practice on the seasoner opener at Old Trafford. Clearly needs to cut out the mistakes that have blighted an often spectacular career (remember his performances against Brazil & Barca?) You should before writing him off.

3. Jordan Pickford

Rose from the Sunderland reserves to £30 million ‘keeper in 1 season, some rise! A good Euros with the under 21s enhanced his reputation further and a first cap is beckoning. Spectacular saves (he got plenty of practice on Wearside last season!) and excellent distribution skills are his strengths, a lack of height may be a concern. Looking forward to seeing his first cap.

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4. Tom Heaton

Not capped until hitting 30, Heaton’s call up was well earned after emerging and staying with Burnley. His nervy performance in Paris suggests he’ll only rise to being a squad player rather than true Number 1, but consistent club excellence will keep others on their toes.

5. Fraser Foster

Endured a tough 2016/17 campaign at Southampton but Forster’s experienced enough to bounce back. Has an excellent Champions League campaign from his Celtic days on the CV and an upturn in form could see him challenge for the No1 slot. But a poor campaign will see giant ‘keeper fall out of contention.

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6. Ben Foster

It says something positive about England’s option that Foster went to the last World Cup as the number 2 and through no fault of his own is now relegated to 6th choice. At 34 has probably had his last cap but still in with a shout.

7. Freddie Woodman

The Under 20’s World Cup final hero will be in the Under 21s this season. Will probably require another loan spell before taking over as Newcastle number one. Unlikely to go to the World Cup unless someone picks up a late injury (it worked for Jack Butland in 2012).

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England’s Centre Back options

Traditionally England’s great strength, recent years have seen England start Matthew Upson, Joleon Lescott, Phil Jagielka & Chris Smalling in key Finals matches, oh dear.

Some cause for optimism has been provided by a good defensive record in World Cup qualifying and both the current title favourites sporting first choice English centre backs. But a settled partnership has remained elusive and question marks remain over many of the candidates, so who’s in the reckoning?

1. Gary Cahill

Chelsea’s new club captain had an excellent 2016/17 campaign adding a second league title to his truckload of medals. Has grown as a leader but still hasn’t completely convinced with England. A nailed on starter but for how much longer?

2. John Stones

A brilliant ball player but error prone defender, Stones endured a tough first season at Manchester City. Many have made excuses for his short comings perhaps Roberto Martinez endulged him too much? Was it his fault in that defence? There’s some justification here; playing in front of a ‘keeper who doesn’t do saves and partnered in central defence by Alex Kolarov, even Maldini would look nervous! This season there can be no excuse, it’s time to deliver.

3. Michael Keane

An excellent season for Burnley won Keane his England debut and a transfer to Everton. Solid defensively and comfortable on the ball Keane looks like challenging Stones for the start as Cahill’s more cultured partner.

4. Chris Smalling

Clearly not Jose Mourinho’s man at United, Smalling looks to be 4th choice for his club but a move doesn’t look likely. Smalling needs to win his club manager’s confidence to retain his England place- he did pick him for the Europa League & Super Cup finals will he be picked against West Ham on Sunday? Hmm.

5. Phil Jones

6 years ago he was drawing comparisons to Duncan Edwards & Franco Baresi (no seriously he was!) Since then he’s failed to find a regular place with any of the 4 United and 3 England managers he’s served.

On paper Jones should be a Jose player (quick, strong, physical) but when the manager spends £60 million on 2 players in your position it’s pretty apparent you’re not his man. Surely it’s time his junior place in the squad went to a younger less gaffe prone player who can actually play consistently in central defence, still if he is at the end of the line we’ll miss his brilliant facial expressions.

6.  Alfie Mawson

Has developed quickly under the tutelage of Paul Clement at Swansea. More a clear it all stopper and dominant aerial defender than a ball player, Mawson rose to prominence helping Swansea avoid relegation. He then turned in a great Euro Under 21s for England emerging as a leader and hardened defender. I would be amazed if Southgate overlooks him this September.

7. Rob Holding

Enjoyed a breakout season with Arsenal and ended the campaign an FA Cup winner. Holding is learning and developing alongside Per Mertersacker & Laurent Koscielny in Arsenal’s back 3. If he makes as much progress this season as last he should be in for a first cap. However his progress was checked at the Euros where he sat on the bench behind Mawson & club mate Chambers.

8. Callum Chambers

Another cultured central defender, Chambers was excellent in tandem with Mawson this summer, providing a ball playing option out of defence. He also had a credible league campaign on loan to Middlesborough. However he’s now back at Arsenal where he looks surplus to requirements. Crystal Palace want him but no move has materialised yet. If he does get a move a good run of form could get him a fourth cap 3 years on from the first three.

9. Harry Maguire

More a Mawson than a Stones, Maguire emerged from Hull’s disastrous season with huge credit and a £17 million move to Leicester where he’ll replace the immobile Robert Huth. A good season could move him very swiftly up this ladder.

10. Ben Gibson

As I mentioned in an earlier post if he wants to go to the World Cup he’ll need to get a Premier League club. If the rumoured move to West Brom comes off he’s got a place in the England squad to retain. But he might be better off in the long term staying put and trying to get promotion at a club where he’s the main man.

England’s fullback options

Probably the strongest unit England have at present there should be strong competition for places between now and the World Cup:

Leftbacks– One player is nailed on, but there’s a lot of competition behind him.
1. Danny Rose– Developed beyond anyones expectations last season with Tottenham, looks the best left back in the Premier League and unassailable for England. Will miss the September internationals but will be guaranteed the start on his return.

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2. Ryan Bertrand- Solid and dependable at club level, Bertrand has looked at ease with international football and remains England’s best left back going back towards his own goal. Not great with set pieces though.

3. Luke Shaw- Since being hailed as Ashley Cole’s heir apparent Shaw has endured a rotten time at Man United through poor form, horrific injury and worst of all the wrath of Jose Mourinho. Will miss the start of the season with injury but will be favourite for the left back slot at Old Trafford following a softening of his manager’s stance. If this season doesn’t work out a January transfer wouldn’t be a shock.

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4. Joe Gomez- Another young player who’s suffered with long term injuries, the difference being Gomez has the confidence and support of Jurgen Klopp. With only the more attack minded Andy Robertson as a direct rival Gomez should get plenty of starts this season, a first cap might not be far behind.

5. Aaron Cresswell- The good news is he finally got a game against France, the bad news is Southgate didn’t trust him with anything more than a cameo. At 27 it’s hard to see him improving much and the defensive concerns are not likely to go away. Has 2 caps though!

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6. Leighton Baines- Great going forward, useful with a dead ball, flawed in defence, only an injury crisis would see him recalled.
7. Ben Chilwell- Had a good tournament with the Under 21s this summer. Chilwell has a good chance of dislodging the wonderfully named Christian Fuchs at Leicester this season. Defensive work needs improvement but a fine crosser of the ball, more likely to stay in the Under 21s for now.

8. Ryan Sessegnon– The 17 year old was England’s star man in the Under 19s summer triumph. Sessegnon is a special talent but the World Cup will probably come too soon. Either through promotion or transfer Sessegnon will be a premier league starter in a years time, by which time he’ll have 70+ senior game behind him. A starter for England at Euro 2020.

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Right backs– in truth this looks like 2 from the top 3, but there’s plenty of young talent coming through the ranks.
1. Kyle Walker-  He’s worth £50 million! In reality he isn’t but he has developed into a top class right back. Walker will start at City and with England, has power and pace although does suffer the odd brain fart. A World Cup certainty.Kyle+Walker+England+v+Netherlands+International+7lnMl2Kgwiol
2. Nathaniel Clyne- Needs to improve after an underwhelming year at Liverpool. His last good game I remember was against Slovakia at the Euros! Currently injured and may have to fend off Joe Gomez to regain his Liverpool place. On uncertain ground.

3. Kieran Trippier– impressed on debut and usurped Walker at Spurs toward the end of last season. Has Superior crossing ability to Walker & Clyne but defensive concerns continue, will be under the microscope this season.

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4. Mason Holgate- Underwhelmed with his crossing at the Euro Under 21s but retains a strong chance of a regular start at Everton. Will stay with the Under 21s for now.
5. Jonjoe Kenny- Had a great summer with the Under 20s but yet to make a first team impression at Everton. May need a loan move to the Championship this season but looks a future star.

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6. Carl Jenkinson- Desperately needs a move having failed to make an impression at Arsenal, perhaps he moved up the leagues too soon, but there is a good player there for someone. Has been sat on a solitary cap for 5 years.

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7. Ainsley Maitland-Niles– It’s way too soon to be in line for a senior call up but could be a breakout player this season. His talent is clear to see but for now it’ll be Europa League group games and the league cup.

 

England’s attacking midfield options

The key department in the England squad, right now England’s senior team doesn’t have a central midfield unit to match the craft and guile of France, Spain or Germany. But the advanced midfielders and wingers provide a threat to worry the best with pace and skill.

  1. Dele Alli- A world class number 10 in the making although he’s yet to truly show his best at international level. If only England’s number 9 was on his wavelength like a club partnership, oh wait…England v Turkey - International Friendly
  2. Adam Lallana- far and away England’s most creative player, Lallana had evolved into a high tempo midfielder under Jurgen Klopp whilst England play him slightly further forward depending more on his creativity to unlock defences. Nailed on starter next summer.thumb_22527_default_news_size_5
  3. Raheem Sterling- Enjoyed a much improved second season at Manchester City (possibly because he had a manager who actually did done coaching!) Sterling faces challenges for his place at club level (more so if the buy Alexis Sanchez) whilst the likes of Gray and Redmond will be snapping at his heels for England. Must be mindful to keep his place.
  4. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain- Had a good run-in last season with Arsenal but still not guaranteed a place in the team after 6 years at the Emirates, where he’s scored a total of 9 League goals! For England the Ox is a great option off the bench when played as a direct attacking winger- evidenced by his goal against Scotland and that memorable strike in the Maracana) but clearly not a central midfielder as evidenced in the Stade de France.Englands-Alex-Oxlade-Chamberlain-celebrates-scoring-their-first-goal
  5. Jesse Lingard- A hard working winger with the happy knack of scoring in cup finals, Lingard has been schooled in the Alex Ferguson academy of ‘do a job’ players (previous graduates include Danny Welbeck, Phil Neville, Nicky Butt and Brian McClair). Hopefully he has a role beyond patrolling the flank for the final 20 minutes of a big game, but yet to show he can do more than that for England. The imminent arrival of Ivan Perisic at Old Trafford may push him further down the pecking order.
  6. Wayne Rooney– Is there anything left to say here? Southgate has handled Rooney well and the days of him being shoehorned into the England team look to be over. Should do well at Everton but their opening Europa League game suggested his rejuvenation has limits. In top form he may just get back in.
  7. Ross Barkley- Needs to move, now! Barkley is clearly done at Everton but where next remains unclear, would he get a regular start at a team better than Everton? Probably not. There is a great talent in there but needs a lot of coaching- if a move to Spurs is a realistic option he should camp outside Mauricio Pochettino’s porch.Ross+Barkley+England+v+Netherlands+International+M1JG7iZ-E3Gl
  8. Demarai Gray- Wonderful to watch in full flow, Gray is a player I’d like to see make the cut; tricky, quick and with a potent shot he could be the player to challenge Sterling for a place in the first 11. But first he needs to be in the first 11 at Leicester and that means unseating Riyad Mahrez. Craig Shakespeare has promised Gray more chances next season but I suspect he’s one of the players whose club future will be decided by the ripple effect of Neymar’s possible move to PSG (see also Coutinho, Mahrez, Sanchez & Lemar to name a few).
  9. Nathan Redmond- A Southgate favourite from the Under 21’s don’t be surprised to see him get a second cap this autumn, I suspect Redmond is a bit too one dimensional for international football but a strong season at Southampton and he could build a strong case for inclusion.England-U21-Nathan-Redmond-640x400
  10. Michael Antonio- How depressed will he have been at Big Sam’s England demise! Antonio has been in the squad, warn the tracksuit, not got a cap. Antonio’s strength and pace may yet get him a look in, may be better suited to playing on the right of midfield in a 3-4-3. Either way needs a good season at West Ham.
  11. Theo Walcott- It’s almost 9 years since his brilliant hat trick in Zagreb. Since then Walcott has scored 5 international goals and played at 1 major tournament (Euro 2012). Walcott’s disappointing England career provides an acute metaphor of England’s disappointing decade of 2006-2016, Southgate picked him for his first 2 internationals and has since rightly looked elsewhere. But a 20 goal season at Arsenal and…
  12. Ademola Lookman- A £7.5 million transfer and a World Cup win, it’s been quite a 2017 for the ex Charlton youngster. Has a club manager who’ll trust in youth and facing a long season (should they make it to the Europa League group stages). Lookman should get plenty of chances to shine, but the Under 21s look the most likely route for now.
  13. Josh Onomah- Could just copy and paste Lookman’s situation for Onomah, may find early opportunities this season at Spurs with both Erik Lamela & Son Heung-min injured, again this World Cup is probably a bit too soon for him.josh-onomah-england-12072016_19zrcqmej44qx1kpogipvm66g3
  14. Phil Foden- Amazing what a brilliant pre season appearance can do for a player. Foden is hugely gifted and may eventually replace David Silva, but the star of England’s Under 17s may have to wait for the League Cup to make a first team case at Citeh.
  15. Andros Townsend- We should finally be able to close the door on him as an England winger. Townsend made a great start to his England career in those final 2014 World Cup qualifiers but his club career has rarely measured up to that standard. Townsend has been a great Youtube player for England in 3 minute highlight reels due to his direct play and willingness to have a go from distance. But almost all his England appearances have been as an impact sub (brilliantly against Italy) or to make way for one after an ineffective 65 minutes. 13 caps & 3 goals is decent going but it probably ends there.