Five Emerging England stars as Gareth Southgate eyes fresh faces
Interim England boss Gareth Southgate has already given call-ups to Jesse Lingard and Michael Keane, and looks intent on blooding fresh Three Lions faces.
While Lingard and Dele Alli started, Marcus Rashford came off the bench in a clear display of emerging English quality.
So, with this in mind, who are the emerging England stars set for the first XI? Coral experts assess five names both in and out of the current squad…
Dele Alli (Tottenham)
Despite only turning 20 this year, Alli is already making a name for himself as one of England’s most important players.
Southgate handed Alli his Under-21 debut last year, but within a month he played for the Three Lions’ senior side.
Tottenham’s gifted box-to-box midfielder started against Malta in Southgate’s first selection, scoring to repay that faith.
With Wayne Rooney getting boos and Alli netting while bringing immense energy, it felt like a changing of the guard.
Spurs’ star links midfield and attack superbly, so is sure to be a big part of England’s future.
Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)
After Rashford hit a hat-trick on his Under-21 debut for Southgate, the manager knows his quality.
This rounded off an astonishing record of netting on Premier League, Europa League and senior England bows.
Since his rapid emergence on the scene, Rashford refuses to slow down. The 18-year-old has now scored eight in 16 Premier League games, cementing his place among the world’s rising stars.
Rashford was the only England player that came out of Euro 2016 with any credit and learly steps up on big occasions.
Goals against Arsenal, Manchester City and recently a winner at Hull City show he possesses the sort of mental toughness sometimes lacking in Three Lions displays.
His Man Utd side are a generous 14/1 with Coral to win the league outright this season.
Michael Keane (Burnley)
The powers at Old Trafford must now be kicking themselves for letting Keane slip through their fingers.
After playing just once domestically for United, Keane was loaned out to Burnley and the move became permanent in January last year.
Since then, Keane has quietly been progressing and developing into a solid defender.
Keane is another with a history of performing under Southgate, who recently gave the centre back a senior call-up.
With his clever play, he was key to Burnley’s promotion last term – a defence that had the Championship’s second-best record.
At just 23 years old, expect Keane to get even better with rumours of top clubs courting him growing. Burnley are 6/5 to stay up this season.
James Ward-Prowse: (Southampton)
Saints box-to-box midfielder Ward-Prowse is Under-21 England captain and another handed his debut at that level by Southgate.
Trrusting the 20-year-old immensely, Southgate will likely wait until he becomes a permanent starting fixture at Southampton before a senior call-up.
Ward-Prowse has 25 Under-21 caps with six goals to his name from midfield, and is now in
line for future recognition at senior international level.
Playing a big part in Saints’ best-ever Premier League finish last term, Ward-Prowse could complement Eric Dier in midfield.
Demarai Gray: Leicester City
Anyone that saw Gray’s impressive strike at Old Trafford this term knows he’s a player to watch.
The talented winger has a goal and assist in just 141 minutes of Premier League play this campaign. Recently, he impressed for the Under-21’s when netting against Kazakhstan to reach Euro 2017.
With Rashford occupying top spot and Gray supporting him on the wing, they have the makings of a deadly duo.
Gray had a goalscoring record of one in every 2.5 games when he was flourishing with Birmingham in the Championship, and will look to emulate this with the high-flying Foxes to gain an England call-up.
What do you think of the emerging England stars? Tell us in the comments below.