Harry Kane– From Euro 2016 disaster to first name on the team sheet, a third 20 goal premiership season in succession confirmed Kane as England’s best forward since peak era Alan Shearer. Southgate had to wait until June to pick him for the first time and he was rewarded with 3 goals in 2 games in an otherwise undercooked England side. He’s also growing nicely into the captaincy, we’ll all spend next spring praying he doesn’t break a metatarsal.
Jermain Defoe- I still doubt he’ll make it to Russia but a first cap in 4 years is something to celebrate especially at 34. Defoe may yet make more telling contributions in qualifying against sides likely to play very deep- one more goal and he’ll be level with Kevin Keegan! But in a major tournament nobody will sit deep and invite England to pressure so I don’t see his skill set applying next summer.
Youth squad players– An ex Under 21 manager in charge of the senior team should be encouraging to the junior ranks at the worst of times- Win 2 trophies (plus a final and semi final spot) and the odds of a glut of players being promoted are too short for even the worst bookie- England will have a very youthful look next season.
Michael Keane– A year ago he was still a prospect growing into the Burnley team, now he’s looking like an England starter and about to transfer for £25million. Keane had an inspired year at Burnley and looked composed and confident in his first 2 England caps, may well be the player John Stones is supposed to be.
Dele Alli- Wasn’t he supposed to suffer second season syndrome? Er oh!