Future Lions: Potential England World Cup 2018 team
England are currently heading for comfortable qualification for next year’s Euro 2016 tournament in France, after clinically climbing to the summit of Group E, and are odds-on 1/10 with Coral to finish top.
With qualification for next summer’s competition almost a formality, and a host of talented young internationals coming through the ranks, Coral writers look at what the country’s national team could possibly look like when the 2018 World Cup in Russia takes place.
Do you agree with our selections?
Goalkeeper: Jack Butland
The current England Under-21 stopper has been called into the senior squad after an injury to Fraser Forster. If he can dethrone Asmir Begovic as Stoke City’s number one, then expect a huge rise to prominence in the coming seasons.
Right back: Nathaniel Clyne
Southampton’s talented full back has recently been linked with the likes of Manchester United, and in the coming years should progress into England’s recognised senior right back. He also has a tendency to pull a net-buster out of the bag, as you can see below!
Watch Clyne score a thunderbolt in Southampton’s Capital One Cup victory over Arsenal.
Centre back: John Stones
Everton’s solid defender has endured a troublesome season through injury and suspension, but has the attributes to become a seasoned centre back for club and country, if he can avoid serious knocks.
Centre back: Phil Jones
A recent regular for the Red Devils this year, Jones was once tipped as a future England captain by West ham United boss Sam Allardyce.
Despite a stuttering season under Louis van Gaal, the former Blackburn Rovers centre back is capable of cementing a starting position for his country, if he can regain form at the top level with Man Utd.
Left back: Luke Shaw
The former Saints star switched to Old Trafford last summer and has the potential to become a regular left back for his club and country over the next decade. At only 19 years old, Shaw should still see plenty of first-team action if he remains fit.
Centre midfield: Jordan Henderson
A natural successor to Steven Gerrard at Liverpool, Henderson could be a suitable replacement for the retired veteran in England’s midfield as well.
Having recently added goals to his growing list of attributes, the future Anfield captain is a possible heir to Wayne Rooney’s international captaincy.
Centre midfield: Jack Wilshere
Arsenal’s midfield maestro Wilshere can easily become a top player for England, but a constant flow of injuries have hampered his progression in recent seasons.
If the young Gunner can steer clear of injury, he could potentially remain in the heart of midfield for both his club and country for many years.
Attacking midfield: Wayne Rooney
England’s current skipper is close to breaking his country’s all-time goalscoring record and, despite closing in on 30 years of age, his future playing career could see him drop to deeper role, with his array of passing abilities and aggressive style proving his worth in midfield.
Watch Rooney dispatch a wonder goal against Brazil in 2013.
Right wing: Raheem Sterling
Anfield’s latest star Sterling has risen to prominence with his dazzling displays in the Premier League this term, and if progression continues, he can be a fantastic attacking threat for England for the next decade.
Left wing: Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain
The exciting Arsenal wideman has captivated the Emirates with his superb showings, and if fitness can be maintained, Chamberlain will undoubtedly be a future international star.
Striker: Harry Kane
Tottenham sharpshooter Kane is the rising star of English football, having rampantly fired his way into the first-team with his great goalscoring exploits.
The Spurs striker has the quality to be an England great, and is being tipped for a bright Three Lions future. He is available at 6/4 to finish as the Premier League top-scorer this current campaign.
Watch Kane header home another goal for Spurs against QPR in the Premier League.
Joe Hart: Despite coming into the later stages of his career when 2018 comes, Hart would provide necessary squad experience.
Eric Dier: He has suffered setbacks but has potential to do well if he progresses at right level.
Luke Garbutt: A great talent and could possibly move ahead of Shaw in international pecking order.
James Ward-Prowse: Presently called-up and should make an impact in the coming years.
Will Hughes: A superb prospect for his country and is sure to be a future star in the Premier League.
Fabian Delph: He has become a top midfielder and could yet move to a bigger top-flight club.
James Wilson: Wilson has showed exceptional promise at Old Trafford and is waiting to make a breakthrough.
Daniel Sturridge: He will be a more experienced striker and excellent cover for Kane.