England look ahead to the 2018 World Cup and the squad should include young talent
Gareth Southgate is now the permanent manager of the England senior team, with the former Under-21 coach now responsible for making sure the Three Lions reach the 2018 World Cup and England are in decent shape to do exactly that.
Southgate claims he “inherited a mess” after a win over Malta and a draw away to Slovenia, although there is the making of a pretty good squad and we’ve cast our sights towards the 2018 World Cup in an attempt to predict which players would be in the England squad.
The goalkeeper choice seems straightforward and we’re expecting to see Rose, Clyne and Walker included in the squad for the World Cup providing that England qualify for it. Right now, Luke Shaw is struggling to get game time for Manchester United although Leighton Baines’ international future is effectively over and so Shaw gets the nod.
There is then the four likely centre-half positions to be filled, with John Stones the most nailed-on pick, although Chris Smalling and Gary Cahill should also squeeze into the squad. With Phil Jones now playing regularly in a Manchester United shirt, he also gets included although Michael Keane was an impressive performer in a recent friendly against Germany.
Eric Dier will surely be classed as a midfield if he gets the nod with Tottenham team-mate Dele Alli. Meanwhile, Jordan Henderson is effectively the new captain, while Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley have both enjoyed a resurgence this season.
In attack, we’re expecting Wayne Rooney not to drop out of the squad altogether, while Marcus Rashford and Harry Kane could be the attacking first-reamers. As for Jamie Vardy, he’s enjoying a new lease of life under Craig Shakespeare and continues with the England squad, with Jermain Defoe unlikely to make the final cut – a situation which is familiar to him.
ENGLAND EURO 2016 SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Joe Hart, Jack Butland, Fraser Forster
Left-backs: Danny Rose, Luke Shaw
Right-backs: Nathaniel Clyne, Kyle Walker
Centre-halves: Chris Smalling, John Stones, Phil Jones, Gary Cahill
Midfielders: Eric Dier, Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling, Adam Lallana, Dele Alli, Ross Barkley, Jesse Lingard, Nathan Redmond
Forwards: Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Jamie Vardy, Wayne Rooney