Predicting England's Future Centurions, including Manchester United and Arsenal stars
With claims from England manager Roy Hodgson that Raheem Sterling is likely to gain ‘over 100 caps’ for the England national side, TBR takes a look at those from the current crop of internationals who are most likely to make their way into the revered 100 club. Before reading on, take note that many of these are younger than Brazilian sensation Neymar. The Brazilian has made 67 appearances for his country scoring 46 goals. He is only 23 years of age.
Raheem Sterling – Aged 20 – 17 Caps
Starting with the man tipped to hit the 100 mark by current England manager Roy Hodgson, Raheem Sterling is the future of England’s attacking potential. At 20, he has already been to a World Cup and while in Brazil, he was a stand-out performer for The Three Lions, ending the tournament as one of the few in a white shirt to emerge with any credit.
With age on his side, Sterling should be targeting 100 caps for England after securing a long term future of high level club football at Manchester City. Playing with the likes of Silva, Aguero and Touré will only aid his development to make him into the world-beater all England fans are hoping he will become.
Luke Shaw – Aged 20 – 6 Caps
When the season began, Louis van Gaal declared it to be the ‘year of Luke Shaw’ as titled by Louis Van Gaal. The Southampton academy graduate was certainly starting to prove the truth in this before a horrific double leg fracture against PSV curtailed his efforts for some months to come. Fortunately for Shaw however, Leighton Baines has been struggling for fitness himself and another main competitor; Ryan Bertrand, also finds himself away from Premier League action.
The £27 million signing had made quite an impression in the opening weeks of the 2015/16 season, showing his attacking intent while impressing defensively next to Blind on the left of United’s defence. so much so that he should still stand in good stead to be under consideration for Euro 2016.
With any luck, United’s best left-back will return stronger than ever from his latest setback and hopefully in sufficient time before the start of Euro 2016. In this way, Shaw can still claim a first team spot for Euro 2016 which will set him up for his reign of England’s left back spot.
John Stones – Aged 21 – 6 Caps
After a summer being the subject of strong interest from Premier League champions Chelsea, Stones has overcome the transfer speculation and focused on his football in a manner which has impressed fans and pundits alike. His concentration is a testament to himself and for a young man, it shows exceptional maturity beyond his years.
With Cahill and Jagielka reaching the age where permanent successors will have to be groomed, and Jones constantly on and off the treatment table, Stones has the opportunity to grasp a long term first-team spot next to Chris Smalling. Being the youngest option in central defence means that the opportunity for a lengthy international career is presented to Stones. He has a real chance to join the 100 club and may well earn a good few of those caps as captain of his country.
Harry Kane – Aged 22 – 4 Caps
Subject of a humorous tweet from Gary Lineker as to whether Kane will break Rooney’s newly set international goal record, there is an element of seriousness. The Spurs hitman has three goals in four England appearances and after a stunning breakthrough season, he is now a regular in Roy Hodgson’s reckoning. Since his meteoric rise, fans and fanatics have enjoyed seeing Kane flourish, especially with the story behind his progress.
Although he may be lagging behind somewhat in the number of caps gained when compared to others on the list, Kane now can be considered a talismanic figure for The Three Lions, taking the pressure of Rooney as the Manchester United forward drops deeper and deeper during the latter stages of his career.
With Sturridge and Welbeck continually struggling for fitness, Kane is firmly established as England’s second choice striker. He is gaining caps while the formerly mentioned players receive treatment and still does have time on his side. It must be said that Harry Kane is more of a long shot but watch this man prove us wrong and reach 100.
Jack Wilshere – Aged 23 – 28 Caps
Blighted by injury, Wilshere is a player that should have easily made around 40 appearances already. He has suffered from ankle injuries all his career and sadly, may never hit the 100 mark because of this.
However, when/if he can overcome these problems, he is a candidate to become England’s captain over the long term and potentially the driving force of the Wembley-based outfit.
A talented man that has had Iniesta and Xavi at his mercy as a 17 year old, he should have took to the field in an England shirt many more times than he has. It is saddening that Wilshere may not ever get the number of caps he merits.
Joe Hart – Aged 28 – 54 Caps
Being the only player over 25 on the list, Hart’s experience is shown through his number of caps. The Manchester City man is well on his way to the big 100.
Hart is a mainstay in Hodgson’s line-up and a key member of England’s spine. The trusted stopper has consistent first team football at Manchester City to maintain his form and fitness in between international breaks, enabling him to ward off the threat coming from Jack Butland for his first team jersey.
Maybe with 100 caps he will be considered as one of England’s greatest keepers. Although he may regrettably never win a major honour with the national side, his consistency and natural ability over many consecutive years cannot be denied.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – Aged 22 – 22 Caps
Without gaining much first team action for Arsenal’s first team, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has huge talent and potential. The winger has it all in terms of play on the flanks; possessing pace, technique and a surprisingly unique versatility.
The Ox can play on both sides although being predominantly a right winger, playing on the left allows him to mirror Andros Townsend as he can come in on his favoured foot and crack a shot at goal. The 22 year old can also operate in the centre of the park and when he did, he did so with such skill that even the pessimists were surprised and at times, looked one of the best in the country in this role.
Chamberlain is direct with his runs and provides a final product, pair this with his versatility and youth, and there is little stopping him claiming an England spot somewhere on the pitch before going on to make in excess of or close to 100 appearances for The Three Lions.
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