With the 2018 World Cup in Russia slowly approaching, Gareth Southgate is having to rotate and experiment with the huge national pool of English players available to him, especially the new batch of young English prospects coming through as well as young players establishing themselves in the Premier League after making their way through the EFL leagues. This article will analyse some of the most promising and likely call ups to Southgates next international squad for the first time.
A product of the Sheffield United youth team, Dominic Calvert-Lewin has really broken into the Everton matchday squad this season, providing a side to the game which the rest of the team seem unable to provide; attacking pace and flair. The 20-year-old striker has already assisted two goals this season and doesn’t look too far away from scoring with 18 shots taken so far with 6 being on target. He was signed for 1.5m two seasons ago from Sheffield United, after impressing on loan to Northampton Town, scoring 5 in 20 games for the at-the-time League Two team. He has also played for England Under 21’s and England Under 20`s, making a total of 18 appearances, and scoring 7 goals, an impressive ratio which will attract the England national team. After a few more Premier League starts and more cup and European goals, Dominic could find himself in the reckoning of a future England call-up.
Recently catching the headlines with an eye-catching statistic, James Tarkowski has been vital at the back of the Burnley defence, making key tackles at the back, sweeping up the play and keeping a total of 3 clean sheets in 8 matches, catapulting Burnley into the top half of the table into 7th place. He has been in the media’s eye recently for with him making the ‘Most clearances in the top 5 leagues in Europe.’ Which is a brilliant statistic for the former Oldham and Brentford man. He made over 160 appearances for both clubs, scoring 10 goals. He started impressing Premier League scouts during his two Championship seasons at Brentford, helping the newly promoted team to 5th in their first season. He then refused to play against what would turn out to be his future club, Burnley, amid Premier League interest in January 2016. Two weeks after he would then move to Burnley. He mostly appeared on the bench for the remainder of the season, yet a departing Michael Keane would prove to be a vital opportunity for James, who has now established himself as a vital first-team regular. The 24-year-old has made 12 tackles, 8 interceptions and 77 clearances, further proving why he should be in the England squad.
The Birmingham born explosive winger has burst onto the Premier League scene, and after signing for Leicester City in the January of their title-winning season, he made 12 appearances, making just the one assist. However, he began to make his way into the first team the following season, making 30 Premier League appearances, with 1 memorable goal vs Manchester United and 3 assists. His quick explosive attacking on the wing for Leicester has caught the eye of many, with him making 15 successful crosses already this season, and creating 2 big chances. He too has made multiple appearances for the English Youth teams, from England Under 18’s – England Under 21’s, scoring a total of 8 goals in in 27 appearances for all levels. Having already impressed immensely at Championship level, winning goal of the season, young player of the month and young player of the season at this level, he now will look to impress in his first-team role and break into the England first team for perhaps as soon as 2018.
Probably the most well known on this article, for his rich vein of goalscoring form this season so far. The Swansea City man is on loan from Chelsea, after an absolutely astonishing season in the Championship last season, winning the Championship Golden Boot with Bristol City with an impressive 26 goals in 48 games in all competitions, at the age of 19! This amazing goalscoring ability did not go unnoticed, as he was snapped up on a season-long loan by Swansea City, to replace departing striker Fernando Llorente. He so far has scored 4 goals in 8 games, with 13 shots in total. He has very quickly adapted to Premier League life and he too has previously impressed in the England Under 21’s and younger, scoring 12 goals in total. The 20-year-old has very quickly proven that he is a goal machine and an international call up will be on the cards if he continues to score on a consistent basis. At the tender age of 20, he has a lot of time to improve and may end up troubling the likes of Harry Kane, Daniel Sturridge and Jamie Vardy for the number 9 country role.
Alfie Mawson, who had become prominent for his stand-out performances at the back end of last season, ensuring the Swans stayed away from relegation. He has proven to be a vital figure in the Swansea City defence alongside Federico Fernandez. He has already kept 4 clean sheets this season, contributing with 46 recoveries of the ball, 36 duels won, 44 clearances and 27 aerial battles won. He is already closing up on his 7 clean sheets of the last season, further emphasising the improvement of both his defensive performance and the defensive performance of Swansea City as a whole. Mawson started as a product of the Brentford Academy, soon being loaned to Wycombe Wanderers, appearing in all but one league games, scoring 6 goals. He also won Wycombe player of the year and came third in the overall player of the year in League Two. He was then sold on a free to Barnsley, where he really made an impact, making 48 appearances and scoring 9 goals. He helped Barnsley win in the play-off final, and promotion to the Championship. He then signed for Premier League side Swansea for 5.5m. After proving to be a key player for an established Premier League team at just 24, many are expecting him to be introduced to the national side sooner rather than later.