Football

England: Who can replace the retiring legends?

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Henderson is in prime place to take up Beckham's mantle. (©GettyImages)
Henderson is in prime place to take up Beckham's mantle. (©GettyImages).

This year, the world of football loses many of its greatest players to retirement with David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Michael Owen and Jamie Carragher all hanging up their boots. 

Most have seen time wear away at their bodies whilst they have struggled to keep themselves at the highest level of football, whether that be strutting their stuff under the enigmatic Sir Alex Ferguson or winning league titles in France. 

However, they've spent their final season in football, many of the great players retiring this year have lived fantastic careers and will be hard to replace for managers across the world but there is hope. 

We have sourced the ideal young players who are made in the model of the fantastic outgoing seniors. 

To replace David Beckham: Jordan Henderson

Beckham has won titles in four different countries now after picking up the league title in France with Paris Saint-Germain. The celebrity icon of modern day English football had the passing range and crossing ability of an all time great in his prime, but as he calls time on his career, many are upset by his departure from football, but just as many feel it is the right time.

It is unlikely anyone could replace such an influential figure in and out of the game, but if you are looking for an Englishman with good passing range, good crossing ability, who can play on the right and in the middle but never wants to run past anyone with the ball, look no further than Jordan Henderson.

The young Englishman is also already an England skipper, if only at under-21 level. Although Henderson is not quite in the same league as Beckham, and may never be, he has similar abilities to the former England skipper and vast improvements this season have seen his large price tag that Sunderland made Liverpool pay in 2011 for him become slightly less of a laughing stock. 

To replace Paul Scholes: Nathaniel Chalobah 

Scholes has always been regarded highly amongst the footballing community and it is a sad day that sees his deadly accurate passing and lethal shooting leave the Premier League. 

However, this year a young England under-21 international has been developing under Gianfranco Zola's leadership at Watford who may be able to step up and fill his boots.

Chalobah is made in the same mould as Scholes. A composed midfielder by trade with a powerful right foot and a taste for a tackle, the youngster on loan from Chelsea has been one of the shining lights of the Championship this year and could develop into a player with similar qualities as the mighty Paul Scholes. 

Big clubs will certainly be sniffing around this young starlet in this summer's transfer window. 

To replace Michael Owen: Wilfried Zaha

Owen's career has somewhat dwindled away recently. A career that started so brightly at Liverpool and Real Madrid has been hampered by injuries and apart from one iconic goal in the Manchester derby a few years ago, his career has never been the same since his Liverpool days. 

At Anfield, Owen had lightning fast feet, a supreme eye for goal and the ability to go round players as if they weren't there. These are all qualities that can be found in young Crystal Palace star Wilfired Zaha. 

The youngster makes his way to Manchester United in the summer and will surely attempt to replicate some of the great moments Owen gave us over the years. We may even see him at Rio in 2014 if he advances quickly. 

To replace Jamie Carragher: Andre Wisdom

For a long time, Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard have been the face of Liverpool football club, but from next season Gerrard will have to manage on his own. The Premier League is losing one its greatest defenders, but Liverpool already have a replacement waiting in the wings. 

Andre Wisdom is a young Liverpool centre back who possesses the many great attributes that Carragher. He has been the leading example for over the years. 

His ability to read the game, make timely interceptions and lead from the back are just some of these traits and Wisdom will surely be hoping to make a similar impact on Liverpool football club as the great Jamie Carragher. 

It seems that although this year we lose many of the great English players, there is plenty of talent lurking in the England under-21 squad to ensure we're not mourning the loss of such great players for too long.


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Topics:
Paul Scholes
Jamie Carragher
Football
Michael Owen
Premier League
David Beckham
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