With a little over 200 days to go until the World Cup kicks off in Russia and with England’s qualification secured, Gareth Southgate will be using the upcoming international break and the rest of this Premier League season to finalise the 23 man squad which will be representing England in the biggest Football tournament in the world.
Over the last few years, Tottenham Hotspur and Mauricio Pochettino have become synonymous with promoting youth from their academy and throwing them in to the first team, with many of them becoming established first team players.
But, with many players striving to make Southgate’s final cut, which Spurs players will get the nod and make it on the plane to Russia? This article takes a look at who’s the most likely to get the opportunity.
- Harry Kane (Striker)
Needs no introduction. Will be one of the first names on Southgate’s list and will be England’s first choice centre forward for the tournament. The main man (and hope) for club and country.
- Eric Dier (Midfielder & Defender)
One of the most versatile players in the current Spurs squad, Dier has established himself as a reliable performer at both central midfield and at centre half in the Premier League. Originally graduating from the Sporting Lisbon youth academy, Dier’s work rate, tackling and eye for goal (see his free kick for England v Russia at Euro 2016) means that Southgate is more than likely to give him a place in the squad, should he carry on his fine form under Pochettino between now and the end of the season.
- Harry Winks (Central Midfielder)
The diminutive central midfielder who was born in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, has recently seen his career sky rocket and become one of Mauricio Pochettino’s most reliable players. Mixing it with the likes of Kroos, Modric and Isco at the Bernabeu and Wembley, Winks has held his own in the middle of Tottenham’s midfield, dictating the play and showcasing his impressive positional awareness, tactical play and technique. Making his senior international debut against Lithuania last month, Winks has gone from strength to strength and should he continue to put in the types of performances he has in the last month or so, Southgate will find it very difficult to leave him out of the 23 man squad travelling to Russia.
- Danny Rose (Left Back)
Returning from a significant long-term injury which saw him miss the entire second half of the season, Danny Rose is now back in the fold to challenge the hugely impressive Ben Davies for the Spurs left-back slot.
On his day, he’s the best full back in the Premier League, bombing up and down the left hand side of the pitch, providing pace and energy which is so important in Pochettino’s system. However, his recent outburst to the media in which he attacked Spurs’ transfer policy as well as declaring he’d one day like to leave the club to finish his career up north means that he is not guaranteed starts in this current Spurs side due to his relationship with Mauricio Pochettino. With Gareth Southgate recently saying he will only pick players who regularly play games for their club side, Rose is far from guaranteed to be on the plane.
- Dele Alli (Attacking Midfield)
Similar to Harry Kane, Dele Alli’s performances in a Spurs and England shirt over the last 2 years have meant that he is a certainty to make the World Cup squad and not only that, will be a starter in the England side that play in the tournament. With technique, vision and skill that has seen him linked to a modern day Glenn Hoddle, Alli will be hoping to avoid injury between now and the end of the season to ensure he heads in to the tournament in the best mental and physical shape going. Given his talent, he could be the one who pulls the strings for the side in Russia.
- Kieran Trippier (Right Back)
With ex-Spurs player Kyle Walker looking a shoe-in for the right back slot in the starting World Cup side, Kieran Trippier will be hoping that his performances for Spurs will be enough to impress Southgate enough to ensure that he is selected as the other right back in the England squad travelling to Russia. Hard working, defensively solid with a good cross on him, Trippier has established himself as one of the most underrated defenders in Europe and the Premier League. However, Spurs’ signing of high-profile full back Serge Aurier from PSG means that Trippier’s position in Pochettino’s first team is far from guaranteed and he will need to perform when he is given the opportunity to ensure he does not miss out on selection for the final England squad.
With Spurs providing England with a number of what can now be described as experienced international and Premier League quality players to pick from, Mauricio Pochettino must take enormous credit for the work he has done at the club to bring these players through and coach them to play at a level in which they can be seen as vital for both the club and their country. Whether England perform to their potential or not is a question for another day, but what cannot be denied is that the club is currently churning out players at a rate for the National side which has rarely been seen before. Who will be next on the conveyer belt? Onomah? Tashan Oakley-Boothe? Kyle Walker-Peters?
Watch this space.
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