Following our recent trip to an exclusive England U21 Media Day at St George’s Park, we attempt to piece together a future England Xl and examine which of those bright young U21 stars will make it all the way to the top.
Along the way, we will hear some exclusively gathered quotes from U21 boss Aidy Boothroyd and take a look at some of the starlets in action.
GK: Angus Gunn (Manchester City)
The bright shot-stopper may only be 21, but at six feet five inches, he certainly does look like something special.
Furthermore, Gunn is currently enjoying first team football at Norwich City on loan from Manchester City, giving him the experience he needs and ensuring that it won’t be long before Joe Hart is looking over his shoulder.
RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
The most impressive thing about this young squad is the amount of them who are playing regularly in The Premier League and Arnold is no different.
The defender has held down a regular starting place season-long with The Reds and even scored in The Champions League, what a prospect he looks.
CB: Dael Fry (Middlesbrough)
The young centre-back earned rave reviews for Friday night’s performance in the win over Scotland at his Domestic Home Ground of The Riverside.
It is there that Fry has been enjoying his football in The Championship with Boro and on loan at Rotherham last season, rumours have linked Fry with a move to some of England’s big clubs expressing his pure talent.
CB: Joe Gomez (Liverpool)
The Reds star, like his counterpart, has been enjoying Premier League Football of late with Liverpool and impressing wildly too.
However, Gomez has plenty more experience in the top flight and playing as either a full-back or centre-back and has a bright future ahead of him.
LB: Ben Chilwell (Leicester City)
Although having to withdraw from the most recent U21 Squad with a minor injury, and not being given too many chances with The Foxes this season.
There is no denying Chilwell’s talent as a left-back as he broke into The First-Team last season and contributed to many of Leicester’s vital victories, it won’t be long before he is given more chances.
“It’s brilliant, the fact that we have players of that age playing in the Premier League is fantastic for us”.
“Also, we have a few lads getting a bit of game time here and there, the more our Players play, the more it helps the standard of U21 Football”.
RM: Demarai Gray (Leicester City)
Despite, like his teammate Chilwell, perhaps getting enough starts as he desires at Leicester, you only have to look at the calibre of goals scored like his one at Old Trafford last season to see his quality.
One place he is being started is with the U21s and another superb performance on Friday has earned him a spot in this Team, his pace and flare are sure to hold him in good stead for the future.
CM: Joshua Onomah (Tottenham Hotspur)
Currently enjoying a successful spell with in-form Championship Promotion hopefuls Aston Villa, the youngster oozes talent and maturity.
Usually sitting in the centre of midfield but in a versatile role, Onomah can do anything from tough tackling to scoring stunners as seen at The Riverside on Friday night, he is one of the most exciting Players in the England setup.
CM: Tom Davies (Everton)
The young Scouse charge shocked the football world with his breakthrough performance against Manchester City for The Blues last season and has continued to impress since.
Despite not yet quite managing to hold down an U21 starting place, it won’t be long for the old-fashioned midfielder who is another Player getting regular Top-Flight action.
LM: Jack Harrison (New York City)
Although not taking the most conventional route an English Player can and only making his U21 debut against Scotland, Harrison is an exceptional talent endorsed by Greats such as Manager Patrick Vieira, and former teammate Frank Lampard and current teammate Andrea Pirlo.
Luckily, we had the chance to catch up with the electric winger at St George’s Park and this is a snippet of what he had to say: “It’s a great opportunity that I am grateful for and an honour to represent your Country at any level really”, we have the feeling that it won’t be long before Gareth Southgate is watching the bright charge.
“The boys (at Everton) are getting some great experiences, to play well when you are winning is easy but to play well when you are not winning and turning it around is a different story”.
One man who almost definitely would have been in this team is Harry Winks but has was cherrypicked by Southgate last week and here is Boothroyd on that,
“It was great that I had the opportunity to hand him over to Gareth like a kid going to Nursery, but it shows just how much our England Manager is looking at the Youth Development Teams”.
ST: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton)
As yet another product of Ronald Koeman’s superb Academy on Merseyside, Lewin is scoring goals at the very highest level and attracting attention from some of the world’s biggest Clubs.
Both Premier League and Europa League have offered Lewin the opportunity to play regular Football alongside England Legend Wayne Rooney, and if he has half the England Career Rooney did then he will be something very special.
ST: Tammy Abraham (Chelsea)
Boothroyd really is spoilt for talent in the attacking department and Abraham is yet another example of that, featuring in The Top-Flight week in week out.
The starlet is on loan from one Premier League Cub to another in Swansea City and has netted twice in The League this season and in Friday’s victory over Scotland, his aerial prowess, power, and pace make him perhaps the brightest star in this team.
“If you are doing well and English you have got an opportunity, some of the lads are playing well in The Championship and some in The Premier League, but the best way to judge is to get them in and see how they cope”.
“The issue is that everybody has got an opinion on Players, Clubs and National Coaches also, it is a hell of a Squad to get into, if we don’t pick Players, we get the chance to see if they bounce back and how resilient they are”.
So, now that you have had a glimpse into the future of English Football and heard from the man charged with developing them into Senior stars.
Do you think they have what it takes? Who else do you think should have got into this Xl? Join the debate and get in touch, @ByFarBlog on Twitter.