5 players who will make their England debuts soon
Another international break is upon us and that means that all eyes are on Gareth Southgate’s England, who take on Germany and Brazil in friendly games after their successful qualification for the World Cup last month. With the hard work done, the focus now moves to working out exactly what the best England side going into Russia is, and basically, it’s not that easy.
With a lot of England’s experienced players – Gary Cahill, Jordan Henderson, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, to name three – coming under fire recently for a ton of mediocre performances for their country, the chance for new players to break into the side is definitely there. And thanks to Southgate’s willingness to experiment with younger players, as well as players from unfashionable clubs, suddenly an England spot is a possibility for anyone.
With everything hanging in the balance leading into the World Cup, here are five – sorry, six – players who I think will make their debuts for England soon.
Honourable Mention: Jack Cork
This one is an honourable mention as I was initially planning to write about five players. That was until two days ago, when a spate of injury withdrawals left England’s current squad threadbare. Southgate turned to more experienced players such as Jake Livermore initially, but when numbers continued to thin out, Burnley’s Jack Cork was a surprising late call-up.
A versatile midfielder who can also play in defence, Cork’s call-up is surprising mainly because he’s already 28 years old and hadn’t really shown any signs of breaking onto the international scene prior to this week. But he has started the season impressively with his new club, who he signed for in the summer from Swansea. Burnley currently sit in the upper reaches of the Premier League and Cork has practically been an ever-present for them thus far.
Whether he ends up playing a role for England in these friendlies – and in the future, too – is up in the air right now given the late notice of his call and the amount of players ahead of him in the pecking order, but he’s done well to make it this far – while he’s represented England at youth levels up to U21, that was obviously quite a long time ago.
His age and lack of recent international experience will probably count against him for a possible World Cup spot, but due to his presence in the current squad, he clearly belongs on this list.