With John Terry retired, Phil Jagielka and Chris Smalling injured and Joleon Lescott only getting games against Championship opposition, Gary Cahill is Roy Hodgson’s only tried and tested choice at centre-half for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.
So who can England turn to in their time of need? Here are five players that can stake a claim:
There have been plenty of reports that Rio is set for a recall but we’ve heard nothing from tube commuters so it’s probably not worth reading too much in to.
Despite some pretty poor treatment from the England setup Ferdinand has declared himself available on several occasions although there are still underlying issues between him and Ashley Cole. Following his impressive performances against Real Madrid, he’s certainly Hodgson's safest option-at least on the field.
Capped 29 time for England Under-21’s but not yet at senior level, 27-year-old Taylor could be the answer to Hodgson’s problems. Uncompromising and willing to put his foot/head in where it hurts Taylor will thrive at the chance to represent his country.
Despite looking like his days at White Hart Lane were over at the start of the season, Dawson has turned his prospects around and finds himself captain of Andre Villas-Boas side during their push for Champions League football.
Dependable and committed, Dawson has been capped four times previously for England, the last coming against Wales in March 2011.
Shawcross made his England debut back in November against Sweden and was given a torrid time by an unstoppable Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Sill only 25, Hodgson will be keen to take another look at the Chester born defender and now looks like the perfect opportunity.
21-year-old Caulker looks like a future England regular and made his debut in the same game as Shawcross, getting on the score sheet in the process to make himself a one-cap, one-goal hero along with David Nugent and Francis Jeffers.
Unlike that illustrious pairing, Caulker looks set to add to his England record in the future and Hodgson may take the opportunity to get the Tottenham man some valuable experience.
Personally I’d expect to see Cahill, Lescott, Dawson and Caulker make it into Hodgson’s final squad, but what do you think?
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