World Cup 2014: English starlets out to impress

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The Premier League looks to be as exciting as ever this season.

Not just because of the competition for the ultimate prize either, but because the young members of the EPL will be pushing the experienced pros for their place in the international squads ahead of the World Cup next summer.

Many of the Premier League teams have bought foreign youth this transfer window, yet with places up for grabs in many squads, it's hoped that young English players will rise to the challenge and compete for a seat on the plane to Brazil.

There are many young English players to choose from, but here are 15 English starlets looking to catch the eye ahead of the World Cup 2014.

Manchester United

United this year have thus far made no key signings this transfer window, making it more likely that young talent will be given the opportunity to shine in their squad.

With Danny Welbeck already a member of the England squad, the focus is on other young English players to push for a squad role. 

Wilfred Zaha - a January signing that joined the United ranks this season and so far has looked exciting with great pace down the wings.

He will undoubtably challenge Nani, Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young for a spot on United’s flank and may push Arsenal's Theo Walcott for a spot in the England team.

Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are two young England centre-backs that will hope to knock veterans Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic out of the first-team as both need a big season to push for a starting role in the England squad.

Jones under Sir Alex Ferguson was more of a utility man, but due to the injury to Rafael, he's been pushed to right-back for the start of the season.

With his driving runs, Smalling could challenge the established centre-backs at United and may give Roy Hodgson a headache come selection time. 


Everton this year have some great young talent coming through their ranks, one of which is young Ross Barkley, who has started the season brightly after coming back from injury.

If Barkley can prove his fitness and with his strong strength and tenacity, he could well keep his spot in a very competitive Everton midfield.

With Jack Wilshere and Tom Cleverley being injury prone, Barkley could provide competition and be a very good back-up alternative.


Norwich this season have picked up some great talent. 

Gary Hooper was great for Celtic for a couple of seasons and was excellent in last year's Champions League campaign. Strong in the air and with good pace, he could offer a back-up to England’s current crop of strikers.

Hooper's new teammate, Nathan Redmond, was one of the only glimmer of hopes as England Under-21’s crashed out of their last tournament. Redmond - an acquisition from Birmingham City - is quick and very direct on the ball.  Already he has started for Norwich this year, and if his development progresses, could win a call-up to the senior side.


The south coast club have always provided a wealth of young English talent. The likes of Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are just two names to have graduated from their famed academy.

Southampton have another young crop of English talent coming through their ranks at present too. The likes of Luke Shaw, Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana have all gained starting positions with their club.

Shaw has been linked to Manchester United recently and with Ashley Cole coming into the twilight of his career, the left-back spot for England could be open for opportunity for Shaw to compete with Leighton Baines.

Clyne last season was in great form for his club - a great attacking threat and quick to cover his defensive position, Clyne might be able to compete with Kyle Walker, Glen Johnson and Kyle Naughton for a right-back spot in the England team.

Finally, Lallana - who is the captain of Southampton - is not as young as the rest on this list but thus far has not been able to get in the England squad.

A dynamic skilled midfield for his boyhood club, Lallana this season should strive to get the attention of Hodgson, whose England midfield lacks anyone of Lallana's ilk.


Raheem Sterling’s fitness was a big concern last year. A young talent with a bright future, Sterling was Liverpool’s main attack last season and if left to lead the line again this season, could have trodden down the injury-plagued path like Liverpool great, Michael Own.

Sterling this year will not be the main attacking weapon of Liverpool - a move that will enhance his development and give him a chance to show his real talent, while keeping fit and challenging for an England spot.


Tottenham have had a busy summer buying a lot of foreign talent, but have some great young talent coming through their own ranks.

Tom Carroll looks like an exciting prospect and Andros Townsend had a great loan spell with QPR last season, but it is Danny Rose that looks like the best prospect.

Rose - who enjoyed a fruitful spell on Tyneside with Sunderland last season - was a stand-out performer in their fight for survival.

With Tottenham’s left-back spot open with Gareth Bale having been pushed further forward and with Jan Vertonghen better suited to centre-back, Rose has claimed the left-back spot for Tottenham’s two opening games of the season.

Starting games will only help his growth and maybe his chances for making the England squad. A long shot, yes, but stranger things have happened.


Jack Butland is a promising young England goalkeeper but this year will have a hard time displacing Asmir Begovic in the Stoke goal.

Butland - who came through the ranks at Birmingham - made the move last season to join Stoke instead of other high-profile clubs where he may not have had a look-in.

Butland has yet to start for Stoke but will hope to get some game-time to show Hodgson what he has got.

With some high-profile blunders by current England No.1 Joe Hart, Butland might be able to get some opportunities to start in the England team if he can secure first-team football at club level.


The Welsh side have some great young talent in their ranks and although they have lost their two opening games, they will look to do the same as last year and move up the table.

Jonjo Shelvey is a hard tackler and has a powerful shot as shown in England Under-21’s demolition of Scotland in their recent match.

The former Liverpool starlet will be looking to impress at the Liberty Stadium in a bid to wrestle his way into Hodgson's World Cup plans.


The newly-promoted side made a massive signing in the off-season that will help both club and the England national team. Steven Caulker recently arrived at Cardiff from Tottenham and for £8 million - and looks like a steal.

Caulker showed great potential at Tottenham but as Spurs strengthened over the summer he was deemed surplus to requirements.

Caulker has great aerial ability and composure on the ball, and with first-team football he could fulfil his potential and gain a spot in the national team.

There are many more young English players that could have made this list and also older English players that deserve their chance to either get a cap or establish themselves in the England fold - take Southampton's Rickie Lambert as case in point.

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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