5 players who are England's next golden generation
Every era in English football brings along a bunch of talented players who ultimately end up as legends for their respective clubs. However, the nation's expectations of the players to replicate similar success on the international stage has almost always ended in despair. For a country blessed with outstanding players over the years and home to arguably the most exciting league in the world, the World Cup win in 1966 is the solitary achievement.
Every generation has brought about players who provide a new hope to improve the record but to no avail so far. The previous generation of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Paul Scholes, John Terry, David Beckham, Gary Neville and a few more were dubbed as England's "Golden Generation” and were expected to be the best lot in a long time.
However, they barely made a ripple in the international landscape and now Wayne Rooney remains the only surviving member of that group. Moving on from them, recent years have seen the emergence of a new breed of English players unlike the previous ones with the continental flair evident in them. These players are once again ushering in another “Golden Generation” and thereby increasing the anticipation and expectation from English fans.
Let’s take a look at 5 such players who are set to be a part of the upcoming “Golden Generation” from defence to attack.
#5 Jordan Pickford, Sunderland
The only player not belonging to the top six clubs in England, Pickford is a product of the Sunderland academy. Having come up through the ranks including a number of loan spells has meant that he has already played in each of the top five divisions in English football and is the 22-year-old goalkeeper is the no.1 for Sunderland this season.
The young keeper at 6ft 1in is not the tallest, but he more than makes up for it with his command of the box and superb reflexes that have been vital in Sunderland’s fight against relegation.
Former Liverpool and England goalkeeper Chris Kirkland, who was Pickford’s teammate during the latter’s loan spell at Preston North End, praised Pickford’s outstanding kicking ability and also added,“The thing which first caught my eye about him is his command of the penalty area. All goalkeepers make saves – that’s their job – but the thing with Jordan is his command of the penalty area. He comes out to take crosses with a rare authority for one so young.”
Pickford has represented England right from the U16s and won the 2016 Toulon Tournament with England as well. Although England currently boasts of top keepers such as Joe Hart, Fraser Forster and Tom Heaton, Pickford definitely has the ability to become the true heir to Hart. He has already been linked to Manchester United and Tottenham and if he keeps up his performances for Sunderland, it is only a matter of time that a big club and national caps come calling.