It is a thrilling time to be an England fan at the moment with Gareth Southgate in charge of the first team, inspiring a whole host of young talent into his side and giving them the chance to shine with the Three Lions on their chest.
England now have a whole pile of young talent to choose from and Aidy Boothroyd, the u21 manager, will be licking his lips at the prospect of managing them this summer at the u21 European Championships. Of course, Southgate will be taking some of them to the Nation’s League but as this tournament comes a week after the conclusion of that tournament, England’s Young Lions could be stacked. We take a look at their potential line-up.
GK - Angus Gunn
One of the finest goalkeepers in the country just happens to be only 23. Gun has broken into SOuthampton’s side with some fantastic performances but showed his real quality when he was on loan at Norwich last season in the Championship. Also in contention is on-loan Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson who has been outstanding for Sheffield United this term.
RB - Trent Alexander-Arnold
Liverpool right-back Trent is one of the finest young defenders in Europe and should be England’s starting right-back for years to come. However, he is still just 20-years-old making him eligible for this competition as well. Aaron Wan-Bissaka is another option in this position giving England several options for years to come.
CB - Joe Gomez
At just 21, Joe Gomez was having a flying season partnered alongside Virgil van Dijk for Liverpool until he got injured. Now on the road to recovery he could play a big part in Liverpool’s title charge and England’s summer success.
CB - Dael Fry
Middlesbrough and England u21 Dael Fry is one of the hottest English talents and perhaps a lesser-known quantity in this list due to the fact he is not playing in the Premier League. He could well be playing in the top flight next season if Pulis’ men go up, whilst Boothroyd will be sure to rely on him.
LB - Ben Chilwell
Reportedly attracting interest from none other than Man City, Chilwell has been one of the top two left-backs in the Premier League this season, along with Andy Robertson. Just 22, like Trent on the other side, he is probably Southgate’s best option at left-back, but could play in this tournament in the summer.
CDM - Declan Rice
At just 20 it seems incredibly likely that Declan Rice could feature in this tournament as he looks to establish himself as an England regular. Southgate has already given him his first call-up to the main squad but he needs playing time in an England shirt and this could provide the perfect opportunity.
CM - Dele Alli
It seems remarkable that Dele Alli still just 22, given all he has achieved in the game. It feels like he has been around for an absolute age but he is still eligible for this competition, because he was born after January 1996. He is unlikely to feature but he certainly could.
CM- James Maddison
Maddison should be a mainstay in Southgate’s squad but he is having to bide his time in the under 21s. A couple more decent performances for this side, especially in a major tournament, should make the England manager sit up and take note.
RW - Callum Hudson-Odoi
The Chelsea man received his first u21 call-up this week but was immediately fast-tracked to the first team without playing a single game, due to injuries. He is likely to be trusted with gametime during this tournament, whilst his lack of playing time for Chelsea should rule him out of playing in the Nation’s League.
LW - Jadon Sancho
The England man has been catching the eye in training this week and given his rise to stardom it is easy to forget he is just 18-years-old. He will surely feature for Gareth Southgate over the next few years but this could be a good way to give him some early tournament experience.
ST - Marcus Rashford
Certainly won’t play, but the England striker is just 21. Man Utd have got a corking player for years to come and he is sure to be a mainstay in the England side for the majority of the next decade.
Other potential options: Henderson, Wan-Bissaka, Tomori, Winks, Foden, Cook, Gray, Calvert-Lewin, Mount, Abraham.