Let’s face it, England are heading to France in the summer with a squad that is one of the best we’ve had in years.
There are new legs, fresh faces and a new crop of hungry talent that has made the transition from the U21s to the first team.
The likes of Jack Butland, Harry Kane, Dele Alli, John Stones, Ross Barkley, Raheem Sterling and Eric Dier are all expected to be on the plane. They’ve all been wonderful for their domestic clubs this year.
But there are fringe players who are just on the cusp of the squad who perhaps deserve a shout for the first team.
Much of the first team will be decided even before we get to the Euros, that much is for sure. Roy Hodgson will have his best starting XI in mind weeks before the competition actually starts but it’s whether there are any hidden gems that could potentially be ready to step up, just in case he has a change of heart.
After all, there could always be injuries and severe dips in form that could prompt Hodgson and his staff to change their minds.
One of the names is Benik Afobe – perhaps not one that instantly springs to mind when it comes to squad selection. It’s fair to say the Bournemouth man has sprung to life since his transfer from Wolves in January. Callum Wilson would be another option too if he wasn’t injured, but Afobe has well and truly stepped up for the Cherries, banging in important goals during his first few games on the south coast.
Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard is a player that is a little more on the cusp of the eleven. Perhaps not a first choice starter, the 23-year-old has impressed in his debut season in the Premier League, even if it has come a little later than expected.
He’s spent time at numerous football league clubs, trying to impress each Red Devils’ manager that has come and gone during his spell at the club but his work is finally coming to fruition.
A fantastic goal against Chelsea on Saturday won’t have gone unnoticed in the England camp, and I’d be surprised if many aren’t talking about Lingard in the run up to the Euros.
The last name is perhaps the most surprising – Aaron Lennon. The 28-year-old has been in scintillating form for Everton this season and has helped the Toffees to eighth in the Premier League.
After a few frustrating seasons at Tottenham, the pacey winger needed a new challenge and Everton have well and truly given him this chance. He has the freedom to go forward and attack, and he looks as good as he did in his glory years at Spurs.
He hasn’t featured in the England set-up since 2013, and wouldn’t it be a romantic return on the biggest stage in international football?
These three aren’t automatic selections but if they continue their good work, they have every chance of breaking into the starting eleven.