Our picks

The future of English football: Part I

The World Cup saw England finally give the fans something to cheer about, however the reality of English football is that there is not enough talent coming through. Despite this, 90MAAT takes a look at some of the more promising players coming through that could make the national side in the near future.

Brighton – Solly March

Solly March is very well respected among the Brighton fans. At one stage in the Championship he was arguably Brighton’s best player, scoring effortlessly from 30 yards and taking on players with ease.

However, a serious injury grinded his progression to a halt and it took him a while to find his feet again. Two years and a promotion later, he currently finds himself among a squad with strong competition for places with new signings Alireza and Izquierdo all challenging for similar roles.

Although he did not get on the scoresheet, against Fulham he showed glimpses of his pace on the ball, gliding past the Fulham defenders in a period of Brighton dominance early in the first half.

Perhaps Hughton’s more organised and cautious playing style is preventing March’s ability to really shine like he did in the Championship. March has had both U20 and U21 game time for England but his next challenge is to get senior minutes. Before he can be seriously considered he needs to solidify his place in the Brighton team.

Chelsea – Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

It is very difficult to see a bright future for youngsters at Chelsea as they are either shipped off to Vitesse or they leave early enough to reignite a more successful career elsewhere. Key examples include Lukaku, De Bruyne and most recently Batshuayi.

The next youngster who could make a big difference is Ruben Loftus-Cheeck, who alongside Wilfred Zaha, was key for Crystal Palace last year. Loftus-cheek is proven premier league quality, yet he has only played 33 minutes of football in the Premier League so far under Sarri.

This lack of football is due to Ross Barkley and new signing Mateo Kovacic getting more game time instead. The immediate future does not look promising if Loftus-Cheek stays at Chelsea. Competitive game time at a smaller club would go a long way to securing a place in the national side in the future.

Man City – Phil Foden

Similar to Loftus-Cheeck, Foden finds himself in a team with great competition for positions. It is understandable that an 18 year old youngster would only get a combined 45 minutes in the Premier League last season with talent including Gundogan, De Bruyne, Fernandinho and Silva all competing for a role in the midfield.

Foden has recently been named in the shortlist for the Golden Boy award due to his efforts with the U17 national side where he won the World Cup. Foden remains the brightest English talent at City and he deserves to be played. Rising up the junior national teams is the next step, but do not be surprised if he’s included in the senior team soon.

Crystal Palace – Aaron Wan-Bissaka

For many, Wann-bissakka is simply known as the only £4.0 million option on fantasy football with guaranteed minutes. However, in the second half of last season he performed very well with such little Premier League experience. It therefore came as a surprise to many that he should only cost so little on fantasy football.

He offers pace and even assisted in the opening game against Fulham. The 20 year old full back will need to play with more consistency if he is to hold down a permanent position in the Palace starting 11 as he was given a red card in the game against Liverpool for persistent fouling. Like March, only then can he have a chance with the national side.

Everton – Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Mason Holgate, Tom Davies

Nobody wants to see young English talent pushed out of a team due to big money signings. With the likes of Cenk Tosun for Everton it seemed exactly this would happen for Calvert-Lewin. He played a total of 1871 minutes, scoring four and assisting eight.

As a 20 year old those were some very promising statistics. However it has taken until the fourth game of the season for him to get a start against Huddersfield. He did make the most of this opportunity and bagged Everton’s only goal in the match. If he can maintain some form he will put pressure on Tosun’s place in the starting 11 and can eventually have a chance in the national side.

Holgate is another youngster to get a good amount of game time last season starting in playing a total of 1183 minutes. It has been widely reported that Marco Silva is keen to make him an integral part of the team and has played in every game so far.

If he can keep his cool (by not trying to push Firmino off the pitch) this season he may be able to play every game. This experience will surely land him a place in the senior side eventually.

The third and final Everton player to be included is Tom Davies. The 20 year old midfielder also got a considerable amount of minutes last season where he scored 2 goals and got 2 assists. However, the best highlight of Davies was his first Premier League goal against Manchester City, where he not only aggressively ran half the pitch, but ‘ronaldo chopped’ past Yaya Toure and made a 1-2 pass with Ross Barkley, finishing off the move with a cleverly executed ‘dink’ over the goalkeeper.

This incredible introduction to the premier league is Davies at his best and sadly he has never shown this style of play on a consistent basis. He is fast but does not offer blistering pace, instead he aims for intelligent and direct running.

As a midfielder he was pushed out of the foreground last season as Everton spent big on midfielders but with new management under Marco Silva, perhaps there may be a chance for Davies this season.

Everton fans are waiting for all these young men to fulfil their potential and under Marco Silva they may get their chance. With three prospects for the future, Everton are definitely a team to keep tabs on.

Fulham – Ryan Sessegnon

Ryan Sessegnon was arguably the best player in the Championship last season let alone the best young player. He scored 15 and assisted 6 with half of those games being played as a fullback. All this and he is only 18. Yet, Fulham have spent big in the transfer window and disappointingly the new influx of players and the lack of his premier league experience has meant he has only started twice.

On his second start however he assisted the goal against Tottenham and thus still shows promise. Fulham’s manager Jokanovic did explicitly say that Sessegnon would not be starting every game as Fulham get accustomed to and alter their playing style to suit the Premier League. A player with such pace and skill is certainly worth watching and he will definitely be in the England set-up at some stage in the future. For now he can impress at U21 level.

Leicester City – James Maddison, Ben Chillwell

James Maddison has recently joined Leicester City from Norwich city for £22 million and in 3 appearances has already scored a goal and set up another, and he could have had more. The 21 year old attacking midfielder has impressed so early in the season and has made an immediate impact. But his eyes are set on the bigger prize of national football.

At the time of writing, he has been named in the U21 squad for England alongside teammates Chillwell and Gray despite speculation of a senior call-up. It was not his moment this time round. However, if he can maintain form without injuries he will certainly be one of the newest additions to Southgate’s young squad.

Chillwell is hoping to follow in the footsteps of his teammate Harry Maguire who not only played fantastically in the World Cup but scored too. Chillwell can easily play 30+ games this season if he maintains good form with a strong Leicester side.

His main asset is his pace, which has already been on show so far this season against United. This week he has been playing with the U21 side playing the Netherlands and Latvia, but was also called up to the senior side following Luke Shaw’s head injury against Spain, making a cameo debut appearance at the King Power Stadium.

Demarai Gray, under Claude Puel, has recently been converted from a winger to a lone striker. Having played much of the preseason as a lone striker he can now play either as a winger or striker. This switch in position was seen in the Liverpool game where Iheanacho was introduced later into the game as the striker and Gray shifted to his more natural winger role. This should give Gray no excuse not to be playing week in, week out and eventually force his way into the senior England set-up on a permanent basis following his recent call-up from the U21’s for the game against Switzerland following Dele Alli’s injury

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