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Gareth Southgate has his eye on four English youngsters ahead of Euro 2020

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England's 2018 World Cup journey will be over following the third place play-off against Belgium on Saturday.

The semi-final defeat to Croatia will live long in the memory of all England fans for all the wrong reasons, but supporters can be proud that such a young team reached the furthest stage of the competition since 1990.

Following the clash with Roberto Martinez's men, Southgate's attentions will immediately switch to qualifying for the next major tournament - the 2020 European Championships.

Qualifying doesn't actually begin until March 2019, in the mean-time England will participate in the inaugural UEFA Nations League

They've been placed in a group with Spain and Croatia, facing them both home and away between September and November 2018.

The Three Lions also have friendlies against Switzerland and USA before the end of the year, so there's plenty of time to blood in fresh players for Southgate.

It's unclear whether or not Southgate will seek to phase out some of the older players in the squad, including Gary Cahill, Ashley Young and Jamie Vardy, but after being the nation's under-21 manager for three years, he has a clear eye for a talented youngster.

And according to the Daily Mail, the England manager has a 'fab four' in mind to blood into the national squad by the time qualification arises.

Fulham v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship

Ryan Sessegnon is the player that could potentially usurp Young and Danny Rose from the left-wing-back spot in Southgate's system.

The Fulham teenager lit up the Championship last season as the Cottagers gained promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs, and despite finishing the season with 15 goals from a forward position, Sessegnon started his career as a left-back.

Manchester City teenager Phil Foden - a dynamic midfielder with a keen eye for a pass - is also catching Southgate's eye. 

Pep Guardiola gave him his club debut last season, and added a FIFA under-17 World Cup Golden Ball award to his cabinet, which will surely grow in the coming years if he gets game-time at City.

Manchester City v Feyenoord - UEFA Champions League

Two attacking players who Southgate also has his eye on are Jadon Sancho and Everton's Ademola Lookman.

Sancho left the blue half of Manchester last season for the Bundesliga, and made his exciting breakthrough into the Dortmund team at the back end of the campaign, notching a goal and two assists in a 4-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen.

FBL-GER-BUNDESLIGA-DORTMUND-LEVERKUSEN

Lookman also plied his trade in the German top division last season, scoring five times in 11 appearances for Red Bull Leipzig, and has returned to Goodison Park seeking game-time and a breakthrough into the national first-team set-up.

Whatever direction Southgate chooses to take his squad come September 8 against Luis Enrique's Spain side, the future is clearly looking bright for England.

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Topics:
Football
Gareth Southgate
Roberto Martinez
Switzerland Football
Croatia Football
Kouassi Ryan Sessegnon
Jadon Sancho
Ademola Lookman
Jamie Vardy
Harry Kane
Pep Guardiola
Spain Football
Belgium Football
England Football
World Cup
Gary Cahill
Danny Rose
Ashley Young
Manchester City
Everton

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