With the renewed sense of love for the England National Team, Gareth Southgate is among the most admired currently in the country. After getting his nation to reach a World Cup semi final for the first time since 1966, the Three Lions coach will now have his eyes on further success at Euro 2020. England have a wealth of talent stemming through the youth ranks and into their senior side, but the difficulty for Southgate and his management team is making sure these players are playing club football as well. With the new approach for some of the youngsters in taking their football to Germany and other European leagues, Southgate will have a larger talent pool to pick and choose from.

Here are five English youth players that Southgate should integrate into the senior squad over the next 12 months.  

Phil Foden

One of the more well known youngsters in England’s ranks, Phil Foden has broken through into Pep Guardiola’s matchday squad at Manchester City and is reaping the rewards. After catching the eye of the Spanish coach on the club’s pre-season tour to America in 2017, Guardiola has made it one of his missions to promote Foden and nurture him in the transition from youth football to playing with and against seniors. While it’s still very early days for the 18-year-old, being in and around the first-team squad each training session is going to allow Foden to grow as a player and receive advice from the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva. Of course, the most important aspect to growing as a footballer at a young age is to play regularly, but Foden is still featuring in the Premier League 2, mainly used for the U23s, and so is putting into practice what the manager is saying. Call Up Being at City when the club has an unbelievable amount of depth can be daunting for any youth graduate, but Foden has seemingly taken it within his stride so far. The central midfielder has showed a degree of maturity in his play, especially in the Community Shield, and the willingness to drive forward with the ball at his feet - a trait that England’s midfielders have lacked in recent years. Southgate needs a midfielder of Jack Wilshere’s capabilities without the injury record and fluctuations in performance. With Foden winning the U17 World Cup, he will have that experience to take him forward in his development. He is likely to be part of England’s future midfield for many years to come.  

Jadon Sancho

A former teammate of Foden’s, Jadon Sancho made the brave and ambitious move to leave Manchester City, where he was being offered a sizeable contract for a then 17-year-old, in order to take the chance in Germany with Borussia Dortmund and their promise of first-team football. While Dortmund is still not an easy club to breakthrough at and prove that he can make it to the highest echelons of football, the England youth international has made a good crack at it so far. After a slow start last season and an injury that kept him out of action for several weeks, Sancho made six consecutive appearances towards the end of Dortmund’s campaign in which he scored once and made three. His performances throughout that time were marvellous and certainly caught the eye of the wider audience back in England. The left winger possess a sharp turn of pace that catches defenders off guard. The balance on the ball and agility to launch off either foot in behind the opposition will cause many a problem when going up against him in a one-on-one situation. Sancho’s aim for this year will be to feature in as many games as possible and carry on with his development. At 18, Sancho has time on his side to lock down the left wing position at Dortmund. Southgate will have, of course, noted the former City graduate’s impressive form at Dortmund and will be firmly keeping an eye on him this year. Sancho’s impressive unpredictability will be a welcome addition to England’s left-hand side.  

Ryan Sessegnon

Tipped by some to be a surprise inclusion in Southgate’s 23-man World Cup squad over the summer, Ryan Sessegnon is arguably the closest to joining the senior squad for good. The Fulham winger enjoyed a stellar season last year in gaining promotion to the Premier League with the West London club. While traditionally starting off as a full back, Sessegnon’s performances further up the pitch have been widely praised and his record of 16 goals and eight assists last season speaks for itself. Call Up The young Three Lions star has featured in all of Fulham’s four matches so far in the Premier League, although reduced minutes in some have caused concern among some fans. However, given the complexity of a season in England’s top-tier, Fulham will want to make sure players are rotated and constantly being challenge. After all, Sessegnon is only 18-years-old and still needs to be fighting for his position in the team. The Fulham academy graduate’s long-term future most probably sees him down the left wing, with his marauding runs and creative ingenuity on full show. The versatility of having Sessegnon’s qualities at either left back or down the wing will give Southgate options in the future should injuries arise or England need to throw caution to the wind. The Londoner has shown his maturity on the field for Fulham over the past two years and will not be far off getting the call up from Southgate to join the senior squad.

 

James Maddison 

After making his move from Norwich to Leicester City in the summer, James Maddison has enjoyed his start to Premier League life. With one goal and one assist to his name, the 21-year-old has impressed spectators so far and is the nucleus to the Foxes’ attacking methods. In the Championship last season, Maddison was one of the outstanding performers, finding the back of the net on 14 ocassions, while also assisting eight times in 44 appearances. The England U21 star has only had 18 months in Norwich’s first team after being sent out on loan to Aberdeen, quickly rising to one of the club’s best players and warranting a move into the Premier League. Maddison had many offers on the table, but with regular first team football at his disposal, Southgate will be watching with a close eye - as he was on the opening day of the season when Maddison bossed Manchester United’s midfield - of the progress he makes throughout his debut campaign in the Premier League. The Three Lions have lacked an out-and-out number 10 for several years and could have done with that type of player in Russia. Someone orchestrating the attacks in between the lines and causing havoc for midfielders and defenders alike. Maddison has already shown this season that he has the capabilities to act as that player and is likely to only improve as he comes to terms with top-tier English football.  

Mason Mount

Perhaps the most unknown player on this list, Mason Mount, who belongs to Chelsea, is currently on-loan at Frank Lampard’s Derby County. Having already been shipped out to Holland to play for Vitesse as quite a few Chelsea youngsters are, Mount’s development now sees himself in the Championship under the guidance of the former Blues legend and England international. Mount, who plays in a similar ilk to Maddison as the number 10, has featured in all of Derby’s opening six matches in the Championship and EFL Cup, scoring four goals and assisting one. It’s clear that he will follow the same path of Lampard as being a goal-scoring midfielder, operating as either a number eight or 10. Call Up What has been impressive so far in his start at Derby is his spatial intelligence and reading of the game. When other players aged 19 might pick the wrong pass to make or become flustered in tight situations, Mount has shown his composure on the ball and ability to make the right decision under pressure. He is yet to make his England U21 debut, but has been called up throughout this international break by manager Aidy Boothroyd and found himself as an unused substitute against the Netherlands. Providing his development goes according to plan, it won’t be long until Mount, as well as the others on this list, get their first senior England call up.

Odds are correct at the time of posting

Join the discussion