The latest announced England squad for the two friendlies against Germany and the Netherlands has to be one of the youngest in recent years and, with the upcoming Euro’s, is this squad a sign we’ll be seeing a younger England side in the future?
First things first, the squad in full contains 5 players from Tottenham and Liverpool, 3 from Everton, 2 from Manchester City, Arsenal, Leicester and Southampton and 1 from Chelsea, Manchester United and Stoke. The squad in full is:
Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Joe Hart (Manchester City).
Defenders: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), John Stones (Everton), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur).
Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Ross Barkley (Everton), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Danny Drinkwater (Leicester City), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), James Milner (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).
Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal).
It may shock some people to find out the average age of this England squad is only 25.5 years old. The youngest possible starting XI isn’t actually all that bad, consisting of Jack Butland (23) in goal, a defence of Danny Rose (26), John Stones (21), Chris Smalling (26) and Nathaniel Clyne (24). The midfield would be Eric Dier (22) and Jordan Henderson (25) playing as holding midfielders and Ross Barkley (22), Raheem Sterling (21) and Dele Alli (19) as attacking midfielders. The lone striker in this team would obviously be Harry Kane (22), rounding off the team sticking with the 4-2-3-1 formation, with an average age of 22.7 years old. This could easily still be the England starting XI come the Euro’s or even the 2018 World Cup.
Realistically, this won’t be the England squad we see in these two friendlies because, as seen in previous games, Roy Hodgson tends to use a mixture of experience and youth so you expect players, like Gary Cahill and James Milner, to play instead. However, there’s always time for a change and with this current squad, why can’t it be now? Based off how players have been performing this season, you have to argue the likes of Gary Cahill and Theo Walcott shouldn’t even make the squad, let alone play in the games. Other players such as debutant Danny Drinkwater has been in excellent form for their clubs and should be given a chance to translate this form into the national team. The young team I selected above might be inexperienced when it comes to international games, however, most of them (if not all) have been some of the young stars of the Premier League season (namely Dele Alli and Jack Butland), but it is highly unlikely that this team will get to play with each other at this current time because who knows what the future holds?
Personally, I prefer to see an attacking, youthful side playing good football, much like Tottenham have been doing this year in the Premier League. So, for me, this England side is the most exciting yet and, I hope, Hodgson chooses youth and class, over age and experience.
Let me know if you agree by leaving a comment, alternatively tweet me @kieranmoss97 or @OfficialTFF (and make sure to follow as well!)