England manager Gareth Southgate has now given 50 players their international debuts after Aaron Ramsdale, Emile Smith Rowe and Conor Gallagher were called up last month.
But who will be next?
Southgate said he wants to create a “club environment” for his players, whereby youngsters can make a natural progression into the senior side from the Under-21’s and feel welcome.
Arsenal pair Ramsdale and Smith Rowe were called up in November, while midfielder Gallagher’s fine form at Crystal Palace earned him his first cap in England’s 10-0 World Cup qualifying win over San Marino.
As we enter another huge year for England, we’ve chosen five players that could be next in line for their international debut with the Qatar World Cup on the horizon.
Make sure you have your say on who should be the next Three Lions debutant at the bottom of the page.
Trevoh Chalobah, Chelsea
Talk about exploding onto the scene.
Chelsea centre-back Chalobah marked his Premier League debut in August with a 25-yard screamer to round-off a 3-0 win over Crystal Palace.
That was no flash-in-the-pan moment, either as Chalobah has been a consistent performer in the eight games the 22-year-old has started.
The Sierra Leone-born defender’s form has seen him challenge seasoned professionals in Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger for a regular place in the starting backline.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has said the academy graduate “is not affected in the moment by too much praise or by the pressure that can arise with spectators” and that he is a “calm guy, very focused and knows what he wants”.
As Southgate is known to reward players who are performing well at club level, is a call-up imminent for Chalobah?
Jarrod Bowen, West Ham
West Ham’s Bowen has made a fine start to the season and looks to have stepped up a gear following a promising campaign in 2020/21.
Bowen, who spent the summer running through fields in Hereford to improve his stamina and strength rather than going on holiday, was singled out as the Hammers’ fittest player by manager David Moyes in September.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp recently voiced his admiration of the 25-year-old, days before Bowen provided two assists in West Ham’s 3-2 win over the Reds in the Premier League.
Southgate is reportedly monitoring the attacking midfielder, with a call-up on the cards if his fine form continues.
With England and Manchester United forward Jadon Sancho making a poor start to the Premier League campaign and Jesse Lingard struggling for minutes at Old Trafford too, is there an opportunity for Bowen to stake his claim?
Eberechi Eze, Crystal Palace
Patrick Vieira’s new-look attack-minded Crystal Palace feels almost tailor-made for 23-year-old Eze.
The attacking midfielder impressed with his speed and strength in his maiden Premier League campaign last season, providing four goals and six assists under Roy Hodgson.
To the dismay of Palace fans, Eze has been sidelined since he picked up an Achilles injury in May, on the same day he was named in Southgate’s provisional squad for Euro 2020.
The former QPR man returned to action at the end of November and more first-team opportunities are expected, with Vieira already struck by Eze’s ability.
“Technically, I think he is at the top of the Premier League, I think he’s up there with some of the best players in this league,” the Palace boss said.
Ivan Toney, Brentford
As the Championship’s top scorer last season, Toney helped fire Brentford to Premier League promotion for the first time.
The 25-year-old striker’s 33 goals also drew the attention of Southgate.
A hard-working natural finisher with a sublime touch and creative spark, Toney’s journey to Three Lions consideration has been longer than most.
Aged 22 in 2018, Toney was cast adrift by Newcastle United having made just two Premier League appearances for the club off the bench in three years after moving to St James’ Park from Northampton.
Six times he was sent out on loan by the Magpies before he was given a new start when sold to Peterborough for £300,000 in the summer of 2018.
Toney hit 49 goals in 94 appearances for Posh before he was recruited by the Bees for £5m in August 2020 as a ready-made replacement for Ollie Watkins, who left a month later for Aston Villa.
Now back in the top flight and continuing to “impress” Southgate, Toney could follow Watkins by earning an England place.
The player himself, however, has said that he is undecided about his international future as he is also eligible to play for Jamaica.
Marc Guehi, Crystal Palace
The 21-year-old Guehi arrived at Palace for £18m from London rivals Chelsea in the summer.
Chelsea fans wanted to see Guehi given a chance at Stamford Bridge after his impressive displays in the Championship while on loan at Swansea last season, but instead his breakthrough campaign has come at Selhurst Park.
While often admired for being an imposing physical presence, his fine technical ability has quickly seen him establish a strong partnership with Dane Joachim Andersen in the heart of the Eagles’ defence.
The Ivory Coast-born defender, part of England’s Under-17 World Cup-winning side in 2017, has also captained the under-21 national side this season.
As far as Guehi’s Palace boss and World Cup-winning former France midfielder Vieira is concerned, a spot in Southgate’s senior side is a matter of when, not if.
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