Of course, there are several younger options coming through the ranks. Most notably, England’s golden boy, Jack Wilshere. Wilshire has widely been recognised as the heart of the next generation of players, due to consistent performances for his club, Arsenal. However he has yet to light up on the international stage, and has at times been lacking the cutting edge. Although most forget he is still just 21, and has a lot to learn about the game, we should expect to see him at many World Cup’s to come.
Next is Manchester United player, Tom Cleverley. Cleverley has been on the fringes of the national side for the past year, making his 11th appearance against Montenegro in October. Cleverley recently came to light after he helped Unites to the title last year, but at 24, is no longer considered as a future talent. If England are to utilise him well, they need to do so now, as he could become fairly uneffective if his club continues their poor start, and he is pushed out by manager, David Moyes.
Everton could hold the key to the next generation, with both a former player and a current player challenging for roles in the team sheet. The former player is Jack Rodwell, currently at Manchester City. Rodwell operates much more defensively than the previous two, and could be used in a very deep role for country, allowing the more creative players more freedom. Rodwell’s development could be halted by his lack of game time at City, and has fallen behind the likes of Fernandinho, Javi Garcia and Yaya Toure for a role in the centre of the park. If this situation does not improve, England could lose one of their most promising youth talent.
Finally, the youngest of the players here, Ross Barkley. Barkley has been in great form for club in recent times, filling the role that Fellaini and Rodwell left adequately. He is already showing lots of promise, and made his national debut against Moldova, as a substitute. If he gets some game time, there is no reason why the former England U21 player should be a future star in the England team.
Along with these players, England have some older players who could help the team in the next few years, such as Tom Huddlestone, whose recent move to Hull has put him under the spotlight, and James Milner, who although is most played for country out wide, is equally capable of playing down the centre. There has also been a lot of hype about Adnan Januzaj, the United youngster who is eligible for England amongst other sides, but the chances of his choosing us are extremely unlikely. We should focus more on the panel, set up by the FA to improve the youth England is producing, which could be key for the future. During the coming years, it is vital to see how England will transition their youngster’s into the side, without rushing them, but just as importantly giving them some good experience. The goal of the 2022 World Cup may seem unlikely, but if the Three Lions play their cards right, they may have a choice.