The 11 England starlets set to make the step-up?

I know the younger players look up to the senior players but there really isn’t a need for them to replicate their tournament form. The Under 21’s crashed out of the European Championships in Denmark last night after failing to realise a match lasts 90 minutes, hardly promising for the the World Cup is in three years time. With regard to the World Cup, England could be without the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard and John Terry and it will be the current Under 21’s that will be expected to make the step up, but are there any players’ from last nights starting line up who can actually make the grade?

Frank Fielding

Given the standard of recent English goalkeepers the Derby County keeper will no doubt get his chance on the senior stage, and after a few top saves in Denmark maybe the former Blackburn Rovers shot stopper will get his chance sooner rather than later.

Kyle Walker

The Tottenham Hotspur defender enjoyed a very successful loan spell with Aston Villa this season and was tipped to be one of our stars of the tournament and he most certainly was. In a game where the Three Lions were outclassed against Spain, Walker looked like the only bright spark in the team and despite a poor tournament for the squad, it was a good one personally for the full back as he enhanced his fast growing reputation. Walker will definitely be pushing Glen Johnson for the right back spot in the senior squad in the next few friendly fixtures.

Phil Jones

Sir Alex Ferguson has recently splashed out a reported £16.5 million on the England man, such a fee from such a respected manager is praise in itself for Jones’ talents. The 19 year old has already proven he has what it takes to play at the top and deal with the world’s best footballers after his handling of Didier Drogba in his first start for Blackburn. With Terry and Ferdinand entering the end of their international careers’ and will be lacking in leaders but Stuart Pearce believes Jones has the ability to go on to be England captain later in his career. Jones was captain for last night’s game and arguably had his best game of the tournament, which is extremely promising for England’s future.

Chris Smalling

A very impressive debut season for Manchester United providing more than adequate cover for the injured Rio Ferdinand, and no doubt the former Fulham man can provide the same cover in the international set up. Playing alongside Phil Jones in the Under 21 set up now will help them two form an understanding as well as a commanding partnership that they will take with them to the senior level.

Ryan Bertrand

If Ashley Cole was to get accidentally shot by an air rifle tomorrow, ruling him out for the season, Chelsea have definitely got more than adequate cover in Bertrand. The former Gillingham star enjoyed a consistent tournament and has attracted the attention of Wolves, who are in talks about taking the Chelsea left back on loan for the season. However with Leighton Baines improving with every game and Ashley Cole being one of the best left backs in the world, it will be hard for Bertrand to break into the senior squad but there is no doubting he has the talent to do it.

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Tom Cleverley

Impressive while on loan at Wigan Athletic this season, and being touted as a possible replacement to Paul Scholes at Manchester United. Cleverley was promoted to the starting line up for yesterday’s game, which shows how highly Pearce rates the midfielder, and you know what I usually disagree with almost everything Pearce says or does but on this one I agree, Cleverley is definitely destined for a great Three Lions career at senior level.

Fabrice Muamba

Came into the starting line up for Michael Mancienne, and didn’t really implement himself into the game, committing too many needless fouls’ last night. We have been hearing of Muamba’s talents since his Arsenal days and as of yet we are still waiting for the midfielder to perform consistently at the highest level.

Jordan Henderson

If this is the Jordan Henderson that Liverpool have spent £20 million on, I hope they kept the receipt. Went missing when England needed a dominant leader in the middle of the park, and if Henderson carries that on at Anfield he could be walking alone.

Scott Sinclair

27 goals for Swansea and was substitute for the first two games, surprising move by Stuart Pearce, especially with England’s obvious impotence in front of goal this tournament. Despite Sinclair having a frustrating tournament the attacker is a player who always looks threatening and you get excited when he is on the ball, the former Chelsea player will most definitely have a bright international career.

Danny Welbeck

England managed two goals in their three group games and both were scored by the Manchester United striker. Despite giving the Three Lions something in the final third, I personally don’t see a bright international future for the striker. Welbeck wont go on to be prolific like Michael Owen or Alan Shearer, Welbeck is very much a supporting striker and lets face it England have them in abundance, and by supporting striker I mean, a poor excuse for a forward.

Daniel Sturridge

The former Manchester City striker has had a real ‘coming of age’ season this year while out on loan at Bolton Wanderers, showcasing his talents consistently in the arguably the world’s best league. The Chelsea man failed to add to his 21 international goals that he has scored at all levels, but Sturridge did look threatening whenever on the ball, even when deployed out wide. England’s senior side don’t really have many options in the final third, with Wayne Rooney the only ‘world class’ striker at our disposal and the likes of Peter Crouch and Darren Bent far from reliable. Sturridge may well become a prominent fixture in the main side before 2014 and will no doubt be key in helping England end their 48 years of hurt.

 


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