Could the extra year work to Southgate’s advantage?
Due to the effects of Covid 19, the footballing world was put on hold for several months. The break has provided a great opportunity for young England players to give manager Gareth Southgate a major headache ahead of next summer’s Euro’s.
The remainder of the 2019/20 season was eventually played in front of empty stadiums. As a result, this summers European Championships have been delayed until 2021. This will be of huge frustration to several England’s in form players during this season.
However, it could also be a blessing in disguise for Gareth Southgate. Towards the end of the 2019-20 season a number of prospects emerged in the Premier League. The next step for these young talents has to be to aim to become England players. With that in mind, here are five uncapped prospects who will benefit from an extra season of first team football and will have a great chance of playing in next summer’s tournament.
Potential future England Players:
The most obvious name on this list, Phil Foden has long been on the radar for Gareth Southgate. Foden has played an integral role in England’s youth teams. In 2017, he won the Golden Ball for England in their Under 17’s World Cup victory. Since then he has shined for Manchester City, becoming the youngest English player to start and score in a Champions League knockout game in 2019.
Since Project-Restart Foden has emerged from the fringes of the Man City team to being a regular squad member, taking full advantage of every opportunity; adding goals and assists to Man City’s team. Pep Guardiola has previously described Foden as one of the “most talented players he has ever seen”.
With the club legend David Silva departing this summer. It is expected that Foden will be given a much more prominent role in the Manchester City team next year. If Foden can maintain his current form and carry it into next season then he will have a great chance in being an England player for next summer.
It has been a tremendous breakout year for Manchester United youngster Mason Greenwood. So much so that Premier League all-time leading goal scorer Alan Shearer has already tipped him to have a strong chance of breaking his record goal tally. Adding to the praise from manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who has described Greenwood as one of the best finishers he has ever seen in his life.
Greenwood has been a key player for Manchester United, both in Europe where he has scored 5 in 7 games and in the Premier League where he has scored 10 Premier League goals in 31 games (19 of those appearances coming from the bench). Since the restart he has started the majority of games and helped his side to finish the Premier League season 14 games unbeaten.
At just 18 years of age, Greenwood’s goal record makes him the second highest scoring teenager in a Premier League season, behind Michael Owen in 1998-99 who scored a remarkable 18 goals. Another full season with the Red Devils and learning experience in the Champions League it is likely Greenwood will be on England’s radar.
Another player that has enjoyed an outstanding breakout Bukayo Saka has been one of Arsenals main stars this campaign having impressed both in the league and domestically for The Gunners.
Exclusive: Buyako Saka to sign new long-term #Arsenal contract
Club have also intensified their interest in signing Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey
— The Athletic UK (@TheAthleticUK) July 1, 2020
The 18-year-old has shown his versatility by playing in multiple positions: left-back, wing-back, left winger, right winger – not looking out of place in any of them. He has appeared in 38 games in all competitions for Arsenal providing 4 goals and 11 assists.
His versatility gives him a strong chance of being involved in the England set up next year and he will hope to provide strong competition for Ben Chilwell in next summer’s tournament. England may face competition from Nigeria to secure Saka at international level. However he has featured for England at Under 19 level. Will he do enough to become an England player next summer?
Aaron Wan Bissaka
Manchester United paid a big fee to secure Wan Bissaka last summer and it’s fair to say that so far, he has looked excellent value. The 22-year-old has topped the Premier League charts for both tackles and blocks. Whilst also helping Manchester United to regain their place in the Champions League after an exceptional end of season run.
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher said: “I think he’s one of the best one-on-one defenders for a full-back in the world.”
Despite being uncapped at international level it seems likely that Wan Bissaka will lead the pack of defenders competing with Trent Alexander Arnold. Kyle Walker has already lost out on his England place and his England hopes have been damaged by his controversies off the field. Whereas Wan Bissaka is much younger than Kieran Trippier who is now playing at Atletico Madrid. Should Wan Bissaka have another strong season for Man Utd and impress in the Champions League you would fancy his chances of at least making the squad.
Phillips has played a key role in helping Leeds return to the Premier League after being promoted as Championship title winners. The management of Marcelo Bielsa has continued to see Phillips improve in the Leeds team and he has flourished to such an extent this season that sections of the Leeds fans now refer to him as the “Yorkshire Pirlo”.
Having not played in the Premier League it seemed unlikely that Southgate would have gambled on a Championship player this summer but as of yet Southgate hasn’t settled on anyone to play in the defensive midfield role. Since the 2018 World Cup Southgate has played 12 different players in that role and has yet to settle. With an extra year to impress there is every chance that Phillips may have a chance of making it into the squad next summer.
Could Kalvin Philips be starting for England in the Euro's next summer? 👀🏴https://t.co/mofEXMrTaC
— Oddschanger (@Oddschanger) March 18, 2020
What do you think on this list of potential future England players? Who has a chance of making it into Gareth Southgate’s plans next summer and who will have the longest serving career within the England squad? Let us know!
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