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2018 World Cup: Tottenham dominate England’s potential squad

In a years time, England will be picking 23 players to take to the Russian World Cup. RealSport predicts who that might be.


Goalkeepers

GK: Jordan Pickford [Everton]

The youngster joined Everton for £30million this summer and should have a fantastic season, becoming the new England number one in the process given Joe Hart’s disappointing loan with Torino.

GK: Jack Butland [Stoke City]

Jack Butland looked like he was never away last season after recovering from a horrendous injury. He is highly dependable and capable of pulling off extraordinary saves, a certainty for the squad.

GK: Joe Hart [West Ham]

If we’re being truthful, Hart’s form over the last few seasons doesn’t warrant him being his country’s number one. He may rediscover his best form at West Ham, but both Pickford and Butland are simply better goalkeepers and longer-term options. Hart’s big-game experience will prove valuable, however.

Defenders

RB: Kyle Walker [Manchester City]

Now the world’s most expensive defender, Walker has firmly established himself as England’s best right back in recent seasons and that doesn’t look like changing. Rapid, powerful and energetic attacking down the right, he has also matured into a good defender, seemingly cutting out his lapses in concentration.

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RB: Nathaniel Clyne [Liverpool]

Not as exciting as Walker when attacking, but a solid defender and a dependable back-up nonetheless. Clyne is a superb right back and in him and Walker, England will have two outstanding options to pick from.

LB: Danny Rose [Tottenham Hotspur]

The flying Spurs full back, similar to former teammate Walker, has matured into an exceptional defender whilst still providing a major threat down the left-hand side. He is powerful and aggressive and provides a constant attacking outlet down the left wing.

LB: Luke Shaw [Manchester United]

Shaw is a fantastic left back though he has had a nightmare with injuries since joining Manchester United. If he can get fit, he’s one of the best full-backs in the country.

He is attacking and has great composure and technique when he reaches the final third. A big season coming up for Shaw, however, having to force his way into both Jose Mourinho’s and Gareth Southgate’s plans.

CB: John Stones [Manchester City]

Despite enduring an indifferent season last year, John Stones is still a wonderful footballer with the potential to be world class. He is exceptional on the ball and is an underrated defender who will only get better with experience.

Should be afforded the time to prove himself and reach his potential, which is increasingly likely under the guidance of Pep Guardiola.

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CB: Alfie Mawson [Swansea City]

The shining light in an often shambolic Swansea back line last season, Mawson has the makings to be one of the best centre-halves in the country.

He is composed on the ball, is a leader at the back and has very good positioning, often having to cover for the erratic Federico Fernandez last season. Plays with maturity despite his age.

CB: Rob Holding [Arsenal]

Had a very good first season in the Premier League and established himself as a starter towards the end of the campaign in Arsenal’s back three. He is superb with the ball at his feet and reads the game very well. He makes an ideal wide centre-half in a back three and if Gareth Southgate uses this system, could become a vital player.

CB: Gary Cahill [Chelsea]

It’s important to have experience in this squad and Cahill certainly provides that. He was very good in a back three for Chelsea last season and is a leader both on and off the pitch. Cahill also provides a very handy goal threat from set pieces which could prove crucial.

CB: Michael Keane [Everton]

Has proven himself to be an exceptional low block defender for Burnley, which could be vital if England play a side who forces them to play deep and direct. Keane is another centre-back who is very good with the ball at his feet and if England are to play with three at the back, they will need to take five centre backs with them. Keane also impressed in his recent appearance versus Germany in March.

Midfielders

DM: Eric Dier [Tottenham Hotspur]

Mr Versatile, Dier is a crucial member to any squad. He is the unsung hero for his club and country and is a very intelligent footballer.

He is exceptional as a holding midfielder, protecting the back line and dropping to split the the centre backs when playing out from the back. He is an exceptional passer and a potential future England captain.

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DM: Jordan Henderson [Liverpool]

Before injury, Henderson was the stand-in England captain for Wayne Rooney. He is fantastic at recycling possession and passing through the lines and brings aggression and leadership qualities to the table. He is a tireless worker, and similar to Dier, is a crucial member of the squad.

CM: Harry Winks [Tottenham Hotspur]

England are desperate for a player of Harry Winks’ style and ability in the midfield. They currently lack creativity from deep and Winks certainly provides that.

He is exceptional at passing between the lines and is the link between defence and attack when he plays for Spurs. He can also break forward with purpose, retaining the ball well when dribbling, and expect to see him called up to the first team in the near future.

CM: Jonjo Shelvey [Newcastle United]

Perhaps a surprise inclusion, Shelvey is another midfielder who offers what England are lacking. He was exceptional for Newcastle last season and has extraordinary technique. His passing is up there with the best in the country and he’s a superb instigator of attacks. England have missed a midfielder who can play directly since Steven Gerrard retired and Shelvey would certainly provide that.  

AM: Dele Alli [Tottenham Hotspur]

The golden boy of this England generation, Alli is the one who can produce the magic for this side. His talent is extraordinary and he’s capable of doing everything.

He is a major goal threat, proved by his 18 Premier League goals last season and his potential is frightening. He should be even better this time next year.

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AM: Adam Lallana [Liverpool]

One of the silkiest players around, Lallana can drag and twist his way past any opponent. He is starting to add end product and a cutting edge to his game and should be one of the first names on the team sheet.

WM: Raheem Sterling [Manchester City]

Sterling can beat a man for fun with his exceptional speed and dribbling ability. His end product greatly improved last season, despite a drop in form towards the end of the season, and that is the only thing stopping him from becoming a world class player. He is unplayable when he’s on it and provides the width and pace in England’s attack.

WM: Demarai Gray [Leicester City]

Gray will really show the Premier League what he is all about next season. His dribbling and ball manipulation is exceptional and his end product is already good, though it’s getting better.

Anytime he appeared for Leicester last season he was their main threat and will no doubt cement himself in the first XI next season, and won’t disappoint. He also impressed for the England youth teams over the summer.

Strikers

ST: Harry Kane [Tottenham Hotspur]

The star striker and Premier League Golden Boot winner for two years in a row. Kane’s goals-to-games ratio is reaching extraordinary levels and he can score any type of finish. His all-round game is exceptionally good and he’s a very intelligent player.

He is the complete forward and was named England captain for the last two games. He demonstrated how great a leader he is and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Kane given the captaincy full time for the World Cup.

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ST: Jamie Vardy [Leicester City]

Despite getting on a bit, Vardy still has that frightening pace in behind. He is a tireless worker and is a ruthless finisher when inside the box. He offers a different outlet to this England side and will still be a crucial member of the squad come the end of the season.

ST: Marcus Rashford [Manchester United]

So long as he is given the playing time, this boy has the potential to become one of the best strikers in the world. Nothing fazes him and his finishing is fantastic. He can run past anyone with his speed and control and has the guile and composure to finish at the end.

His threat in behind the back line is a dangerous weapon, and can also be deployed out wide, adding to the versatility of this squad.

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Harry Brooks

Harry graduated from UAL in Elephant and Castle with a 2:1 BA Hons degree in sports journalism.

He has an NCTJ diploma and also coaches football and teaches PE in schools.

Harry loves to talk football tactics!

2018 World Cup: Tottenham dominate England’s potential squad

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