5 players who should've made the England squad
- With England's latest qualifiers upcoming, here are five players Gareth Southgate should've looked at calling up
With international break now upon us and important World Cup 2018 qualifiers going ahead in the next few days, attention has turned (well, after transfer deadline day anyway!) to the fortunes of England – namely who should be named in their squad.
Gareth Southgate named his squad for the qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia late last week, and there were a handful of new – somewhat surprising – names in there like Nathaniel Chalobah, Harry Maguire and Jordan Pickford (who has since withdrawn due to injury). But even with the addition of three exciting young talents like them, there’s still room for improvement.
With a spot in the squad seemingly unsafe for everyone outside of key men like Harry Kane and Dele Alli, here are five players I feel should’ve been named in the squad this time around and could well break through soon.
#1 Alfie Mawson
Swansea defender Mawson was arguably the standout player for England’s U-21 side in their European Championship effort this summer, playing all of the games in the tournament and scoring against Slovakia in the group stage. He’s also shown tons of ambition when he’s been interviewed, outright stating that he expects to break into the full England set-up in the near future and even sees himself as a future captain.
While England currently have a lot of central defenders looking to establish themselves at international level, not many look as good as Mawson. He’s powerful, physical, good in the air, and he’s also got an eye for a pass, able to glide out of the defence in a similar way to John Stones, who was praised hugely for this ability when he first broke through.
He also chipped in with four goals for Swansea last season to go with his one for the U-21s in the summer.
With constant questions around the form of John Stones and Gary Cahill, the fitness of Phil Jones and the playing time for Chris Smalling, and the likes of Michael Keane and Harry Maguire not yet established at full international level, it is clear that there’s a potential spot available in England’s central defence, especially as a squad member to begin with. Southgate should be looking no further than Mawson to fill it.