Ahead of next summer’s Euro 2016 competition in France, Roy Hodgson will be starting to think about his final squad and the players that can help England have a strong tournament.
Although many of the names that will board the plane are already etched in, there is seemingly scope for young stars to win a spot in the contingent.
The example of Tottenham starlet Dele Alli, who has impressed in the Premier League and gone on to thrive in recent friendly fixtures for the Three Lions, will serve as an example to others.
Few would argue that the former MK Dons midfielder is a unique talent and worthy of his call-up for the national squad, but the question still remains whether the club that he plays for has had a role in Alli getting a chance.
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The box-to-box star moved to White Hart Lane over the summer and has immediately shown he is good enough to play in England’s top flight, which has led to a fast-track promotion to the national team.
However, if it had been Stoke City, Sunderland or Swansea that had splurged out on Alli over the summer, not Tottenham, would the youngster still have been given his chance this early by Hodgson?
There is no doubting that someone of Alli’s ability would sooner or later have risen to the pinnacle of the domestic game, but there is certainly a case to suggest that it would have taken longer to happen if he was not on the books of a top-six club.
Although the Tottenham man’s rise to the Three Lions fold may well have been rushed, the example of Jesse Lingard takes the argument to the next level.
The Manchester United winger is widely recognised as one of the most promising young players to come out of the Old Trafford youth ranks in recent time, but he is still only starting his journey in the Premier League.
There is every chance that the former Derby County loanee will play a more considerable role for Louis van Gaal’s men after recent form, but to date the attacker has only five Premier League appearances to his name.
Of these showings, Lingard scored the opener for the Red Devils against West Brom in his club’s last game and has shown signs that he can be a star of the future.
This led Hodgson to call the 22-year-old up to his England squad for the recent friendly fixture with France, with the United starlet an unused substitute in the clash at Wembley.
However, given that Lingard has only started two Premier League games throughout his young career, with his total exposure to the English top flight less than 200 minutes combined, isn’t his rise to the national set-up somewhat premature?
The fact that the attacker plays for United, not Bournemouth or Norwich, clearly has something to do with it.
There is every chance that Lingard and Alli can become mainstays of the England side in the future, but for the time being their rise to the national team must be a source of major frustration for other Premier League players.
Instead of Alli, who has only eight Premier League starts to his name, wouldn’t turning to someone like Mark Noble, who has been a standout for West Ham, made more sense?
And what hope has someone like Jason Puncheon got when Lingard is picked ahead of him after only two Premier League starts?
The Crystal Palace attacking midfielder has been a driving force for a resurgent Eagles side this year and more than worthy of a place in the England squad.
It is only natural that the best players in the Premier League will play for the best teams, but for England selecting stars of the less-fashionable clubs over the top teams’ fringe stars surely makes more sense.