Last week, Greg Dyke gave his first speech after becoming the FA chairman.
After pointing out that our young players don’t get as much chance in the first team, due to the increasing number of foreign players in our top flight teams, he went on to set a few targets for the future which were to get to the semi-finals of Euro 2020 and then possibly win the World Cup in 2022.
Who knows what the state of English football will be in nine years time, but this is still a very ambitious target to work towards.
Some of the players who will be in the England squad for that 2022 World Cup may not have signed a professional contract yet, or even taken up football as a serious career path.
But we do have a lot of promising players playing in this country right now, so could this team really lift the World Cup in 2022?
Goalkeeper – Jack Butland
Butland already has a cap to his name and will only get better as he gets older. He may not even have got into his prime by the time 2022 comes around, but he will probably be our number one by then, although Joe Hart will be 35 and may still be playing.
Right-back – Sam Byram
He has been Leeds' first choice right back for two seasons and has been linked with Manchester City in that time. If he continues to progress then he could go right to the top of English football.
Centre-back – Phil Jones
He has been touted as a future England Captain since the age of 17, Sir Alex Ferguson has said he has the potential to be the greatest player in Manchester United’s history. If he fulfils this potential, could he be lifting the World Cup in 2020?
Centre-back – Nathaniel Chalobah
He had a very successful time at Watford last season and Jose Mourinho is keen to integrate him into the first team set up at Chelsea. His poise, pace and intelligence could make him the perfect for the brash and uncompromising Phil Jones.
Left-back – Luke Shaw
Becoming a first choice Premier League defender at the age of 17 really underlines this boys’ potential. He has a great technique and a good physique for his age too. He will be playing for a top four team in the next five years and could easily be England first choice by that time too.
Centre-midfield – Ross Barkley
He has finally broken into the Everton first team and recently earned his first England cap.
He is two footed, intelligent and is full of drive and creativity, it’s only a matter of time before he is a regular in the national squad.
Centre-midfield – Jack Wilshere
Jack is probably the most important player for the future of the national team. So we can only hope that over the next five years he can stay injury free and play in as many games as possible. If he can do that, he may be one of the very best players in the world come 2020.
Centre Mid – Will Hughes
He is one of the most technically gifted players to come through the English youth system for some time. He is now a first team regular for Derby and I have no doubt that when the time comes, he will make the transition to the Premier League very easily. He could be the creative spark that English football craves.
Right Wing – Raheem Sterling
He has shown in the last 18 months that he can be a top class winger. He will fill out a bit more as he gets older and that will make him even more difficult for defenders to deal with, let's hope he can stay injury free and out of trouble at Liverpool.
Left Wing – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Alex clearly has all the attributes needed to become a top quality midfielder. Although he may be more suited to a central role, his technique and versatility will make him a permanent fixture in the nation side for many years to come.
Striker – Danny Welbeck
His finishing skills may still be a little raw at the moment, but if he stays in the Manchester United first team, he will only get better with age. His pace and power make him a constant threat to defenders, and if you use Ricky Lambert as an example, 31 is not too old to be a quality England Striker.
Other possible players: Alex McCarthy, John Stones, Steven Caulker, James Ward-Prowse, Nathaniel Clyne, Jonjo Shelvey, Nick Powell, Nathan Redmond, Thomas Ince, Wilfried Zaha, Connor Wickham, Mason Bennett, Chuba Akpom, Adam Campbell
If this current crop of young, talented footballers can get the first team exposure they need to progress, then as a nation, we definitely have a very bright future.
But is a World Cup win in nine years a realistic goal? Only time will tell.
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