With Ashley Cole looking increasingly doubtful of making this summer’s World Cup squad, Brazil 2014 will almost certainly spell the end of England’s so called ‘Golden Generation’. But with big stars like Terry, Ferdinand and Cole finally stepping out of the international limelight, who do England have as potential replacements? Joanne Lenton takes a look at some of England’s newest young stars, and tells us who might shine this summer…
As the World Cup approaches and some of the potential stars continue to light up the English Premier League, what are England’s chances of getting their hands on the trophy this summer?
As usual hopes will be high as the media cranks up the hype ahead of the tournament. Big names such as Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are bound to make a big impact but do England have any potential superstars of the future?
Here are 5 players that could make a name for themselves on the international stage in Brazil 2014 and why they might be the next big thing to reignite our belief in the National team.
For such a young player Sturridge has played for a number of clubs but he finally seems to have found a good fit with Liverpool. This season his partnership with Luis Suarez has been a revelation and if his form continues he could be on a real high going into the World Cup. His childhood heroes included the Brazilians Ronaldo and Ronaldinho and he has incorporated a form of samba style into his own game. If Sturridge can build up a similar kind of understanding with Wayne Rooney in Brazil then England could have an extremely potent strike force.
A stunning goal in England’s 4-1 qualifying win against Montenegro highlighted the 22 years olds potential to the nation. He’s fast, strong and has an eye for goal which means that if picked, Townsend could really dazzle down the flanks in Brazil. England currently have a number of up and coming central midfield stars but Andros is wider attacking option. He hasn’t played many minutes for Tottenham so far this season but if he can establish himself in Tim Sherwood’s starting 11 then he could be an ideal replacement for the injured Theo Walcott.
Google Ross Barkley and you’ll find a photo of him playing football as a child towering over the opposition. From an early age Ross has been built for the game. He’s a real powerhouse with a sledgehammer of a shot yet he displays a real finesse in his passing game. This combination is evident in many of the world’s great players, players like Patrick Viera and more recently Yaya Toure. Barkley oozes class and he’s at the age where there is no fear. If England are to succeed this summer then a player like Ross could hold the key.
If Jack can stay fit and overcome his injury jinx this could be the stage for him to shine. When he’s been at his best for Arsenal he has displayed all the style and vision you could ask for in a central midfielder. As yet we still don’t really know Wilshire’s best position but with a likely midfield partner in Steven Gerrard he may be given an attacking licence this summer. The experience Jack has gained from the Arsenal set up could be key and playing alongside stars such as Ozil and Carzorla for his club side is invaluable.
The big question is can Rooney still perform on the world stage? It seems an eternity since he burst onto the scene in Euro 2004. Back then he was a teen sensation who played without fear and terrified opposition defences. These days his form for Manchester United has been patchy and he has suffered a number of injuries. At his best Rooney is unplayable but has he lost his desire? There are so many questions surrounding Rooney’s future but what England needs is a fully fit and focussed player. We all know he has the skill and talent so let’s hope this shines through in the Brazilian sunshine.
A major factor in Liverpool’s resurgence as a title contender this season, Raheem Sterling has almost certainly booked a seat on the plane to Brazil this summer. Alongside team-mates Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, the 19 year old winger is part of the formidable Liverpool attack that recently ran rampant against title leaders, Arsenal. Sterling might only be 5’7 but what he lacks in height he makes up for with blistering pace. However, whilst Sterling undoubtedly has the talent to make a name for himself on the big stage, like most young stars, his decision making can sometimes let him down in the final third. Still, if he improves his final ball, there’s really no limit to what he can do. Given his current form, his frightening pace and clever trickery, the pint sized winger is definitely one to watch this summer.
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