With England’s incredibly dreary World Cup qualification campaign finally out of the way, we can spend the next nine months relentlessly debating who should and who shouldn’t be part of Gareth Southgate’s squad for the tournament in Russia.
Indeed, the Three Lions may have qualified undefeated but it was hardly a masterclass from the Group F winners, who perpetually struggled to turn their dominance over underwhelming opposition into scintillating attacking displays.
That, however, only makes discussions over Southgate’s squad all the more intriguing, with so many places seemingly still up for grabs. Very few players appear to have guaranteed themselves a spot at the World Cup, so we could well see those stuck on the fringes sneak their way in before the end of the season.
Everton contract rebel Ross Barkley provides a classic example, especially in light of England’s lack of creativity in central midfield.
A long-term injury and uncertainty over his future at Goodison Park will continue to affect his game-time but if the 22-cap international, who Transfermarkt value at £22.5million, finds his way back onto the pitch, he’ll have a great chance of overtaking some rivals in the England pecking order.
So, Everton fans, would you take Barkley to the World Cup next summer? Let us know who would and wouldn’t make your squad by giving each of our suggestions a thumbs up or a thumbs down…