Five players who could make this England’s next golden generation
On Wednesday, England’s run in the World Cup came to an end with a defeat to Croatia. So little was expected of the Three Lions coming into the tournament, but they produced some impressive performances, and reached their first World Cup semi-final since 1990.
England came through the group as expected. They needed a last minute Harry Kane winner against Tunisia, before the captain added a hat trick in the 6-1 demolition of Panama. They lost their final game of the groups to Belgium, in a game where both teams rested a number of players.
The defeat to Belgium was a blessing in disguise, as it meant a second place finish in the group, which saw them enter the significantly weaker side of the draw. In the round of 16, they sneaked past Colombia, breaking their World Cup penalty hoodoo at the seventh attempt.
They beat Sweden in the quarter final, producing probably their most complete performance of the tournament, as they eased to a 2-0 win. Sadly, their run came to an end in the semi-final, as they suffered an extra time defeat to Croatia, despite taking an early lead through Kieran Trippier’s superb free kick.
It will have hurt England to fall at the last hurdle before the final, but they will know there is a lot more to come from this side. They are still young, and a lot of them will hit their peak around 2022, and the next World Cup. Jordan Pickford will be 28, as will John Stones and Harry Kane, while Dele Alli will be 26. That’s just a small selection.
There are still young players to come through. In 2017, England U17s and U20s both won their respective World Cups, while the U19s won the European Championships. Here are five players coming through who could make this England team even better in the next few years.
#1 Phil Foden (Manchester City)
There are really high hopes for this lad. Foden was one of England’s U17 World Cup winners last year, and was the star of the show for the Three Lions, scoring a brace in the final, as well as winning the Golden Ball for best player. Some of the criticism levelled at England for their performances in Russia this summer has been that they haven’t had that player capable of picking a pass in the final third. Foden can do that.
He has begun to make his mark at Manchester City over the last year, and became the youngest player to win a Premier League winners medal. He also appeared three times in the Champions League. City could be the perfect club for him to improve at. Pep Guardiola isn’t going to change from his passing style of football, and based on last season, he is willing to give Foden an opportunity. He has an excellent chance of being in England’s World Cup squad in four years’ time.