5 England World Cup careers on borrowed time

England have been hailed for the youthful squad they took to Russia 2018. But for some it may have been the beginning of the end of their time with the national team, for others absolutely the end, here’s a run down of the players most likely to be eased out this season.

Cary Cahill (61 Caps, 5 Goals)

After 8 years and 61 caps for England it looks like the end for the Chelsea defender. At 32 Cahill is considering his international future and with Harry Maguire firmly established on the left of the back 3 Cahill would only be staying in a reduced capacity having been first choice since 2012.

Even if Cahill opts to stay he needs to convince Maurizio Sarri he’s still a first 11 player at Stamford Bridge whilst Everton’s Michael Keane will surely improve after a dismal debut season at Goodison Park. Cahill has been a good servant to England in what was mostly a poor era for the Three Lions but he’s unlikely to be an option for Euro 2020.

Cahill has been a good servant, but for how much longer?

Danny Welbeck (40 Caps, 16 Goals)

He’s been around so long it’s remarkable to think Welbeck is only 27 years old. Welbeck was the 23rd man in England’s World Cup squad picked mainly because he was the only player available with more than 15 England goals to his name and managed a good spell of form in Arsenal’s run-in.

Welbeck was the only outfield player not to start a game in Russia

But Welbeck was the only outfield player not to get a start at the tournament- his only appearance coming as a late sub in the group game against Belgium. England will now be looking to younger talents in the attacking third, most obviously Jadon Sancho & Dominic Solanke. Meanwhile new Arsenal boss Uni Emery is rumoured to be pushing Welbeck towards the exit door as he tries to rebalance an attack heavy squad. There will be Premier League takers for Welbeck but he’ll need to bag a lot of goals to keep himself in the England frame and given his best season total is 12 (back in 2011-12) the prospects don’t look good.

Phil Jones (27 Caps, 0 Goals)

In an act of perfect symmetry Eden Hazard finished his domestic season making Phil Jones look foolish in the Cup Final and finished his World Cup doing the same thing in the 3rd Place Playoff. Jones was the subject of heated debate between Roy Keane & Gary Neville after the 3rd place game and annoyingly you’d have to side with Keane who pointed out Jones now aged 26 is unlikely to rid himself of the errors that have blighted his career.

Jones loses another tackle!

Worse still when  returns to Old Trafford he’s likely to find fit again Eric Bailly being first choice in central defence  partnered with the now fully acclimatised Victor Lindelof. Jones does have some credit in the bank with Southgate but with the athletic Joe Gomez back to fitness there’s no need for 3 right-sided central defenders in a squad.

Danny Rose (23 Caps, 0 Goals)

Rose only made 2 starts in Russia and during that time was responsible for both the goals England conceded. With Ryan Sessegnon a likely call up on the left and Luke Shaw likely to find a manager that actually likes him this summer Rose & Ashley Young face stiff competition to stay in the set up.

Rose faces fresh competition

Young is the man in possession of the number 3 shirt and after fighting his way back into the England squad seems unlikely to retire despite advancing years. Rose meanwhile is no longer first choice at Tottenham after an injury hit season and Welsh international Ben Davies had an excellent campaign. If Rose can’t regain a regular start for Spurs he won’t get a look in with England.

Jamie Vardy (26 Caps, 7 Goals)

For the time being Vardy is safe enough, especially given England are playing a friendly at the King Power in September. But the World Cup showed Vardy isn’t a partner for Kane nor does his style suit tournament football. Vardy has been a late bloomer and being 31 doesn’t necessarily mean he’s declining and for now his potential successors (Solanke, Calvert-Lewin, Abraham) remain just that- players with potential.

Given the short lead times in the run up to midseason internationals Southgate will want a plan B to Kane to get through the Euro qualifiers and Vardy seems the best one available for now, but it would be a surprise if he’s still with England in 2020.

Vardy scores against Italy- will he get many more?


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