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Top 20 Future England Football Stars

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With Fabio Capello at the helm, there is no doubt in my mind that England’s football future is looking bright. Of course being Italian I’m a bit biased, but Don Fabio is a winner and as such, the man usually likes to pick players who are winners themselves. No one will dispute argue that John Terry, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, and Wayne Rooney (just to name a few) are lacking in that department, so the only thing missing from this English golden generation of players are trophies. Fans of the Three Lions can only hope that Capello will fix that problem soon.

But speaking of generations, England’s future is looking bright not only because they have finally found a decent coach to guide them, but also because the young’ns knocking on the national team’s door have a few things to say themselves. From Jose Baxter through Gavin Hoyte, all the way to Danny Welbeck, there’s talent aplenty to pick from, and The Guardian writers have done just that: a selection of the “best of the crop”, 20 England players (aged 18 or under) to keep an eye on, the Three Lions future stars to watch.
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Note: Player information partially from IMScouting.com.

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Jose
Baxter
Age 16 1.79m / 5.9ft.
74kg / 162lbs
Striker .
Everton
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jose baxter 70x70 Top 20 Future England Football Stars Said to be better than Wayne Rooney at 14. Bootle-born, he left school last summer and joined the Everton first-team squad that toured Switzerland and the US. Made his competitive senior debut with a substitute appearance at home to Blackburn in August, becoming Everton’s youngest first-team player.
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Mark
Beevers
Age 18 1.85m / 6.1ft.
80kg / 176lbs
Defender .
Sheff. Wed
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mark beevers 70x70 Top 20 Future England Football Stars Last season’s supporters’ player of the year at Hillsborough, the centre-half has signed a contract to keep him at Wednesday until 2012. He stands 6ft 4in tall, is deceptively quick across the turf and strong in the air, and has already attracted interest from Premier League clubs.
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John
Bostock
Age 16 1.79m / 5.9ft.
67kg / 147lbs
Midfielder .
Tottenham
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john bostock 70x70 Top 20 Future England Football Stars Crystal Palace’s youngest player when he made his debut at 15 years 287 days last season before his controversial summer move to Spurs for an initial £700,000. Tall, elegant and visionary, the attacking midfielder became Tottenham’s youngest player, at 16 years 295 days, against Dinamo Zagreb.
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Nathan
Delfouneso
Age 17 1.85m / 6.1ft
78kg / 171lbs
Striker .
Aston Villa
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nathan delfouneso 70x70 Top 20 Future England Football Stars The 6ft 1in Birmingham-born striker made his first-team debut earlier this season in the Uefa Cup against Hafnarfjorour and scored a hat-trick on his first appearance for the England Under-17s in October 2007. A regular in reserve and academy sides, for whom he has been a prolific scorer.
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Fabian
Delph
Age 18 1.74m / 5.7ft.
60kg / 132lbs
Midfielder .
Leeds Utd
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fabian delph 70x70 Top 20 Future England Football Stars Ken Bates laughed off Newcastle United’s £1m bid for a dynamic talent currently not only making his mark in League One but who has just broken into Stuart Pearce’s England Under-21 squad. Arsenal and Manchester United are also seriously interested, but his value has risen closer to £6m.
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Daniel
Drinkwater
Age 18 n/a Midfielder .
Manchester Utd
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daniel drinkwater 70x70 Top 20 Future England Football Stars Two-footed and boasting a fine passing range, Drinkwater has been with the club since he was nine. The young Mancunian’s progress was hindered by injury last year, but he remains highly regarded and is an England Under-19 international who looks likely to grace the Premier League.
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Jordan
Henderson
Age 18 1.82m / 6.0ft.
67kg / 147lbs
Midfielder .
Sunderland
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jordan henderson 70x70 Top 20 Future England Football Stars An elusive right-sided midfielder or deep-lying forward, and equally happy in the hole or drifting wide right, the Wearside-born Henderson caught the eye of England’s leading clubs during Sunderland’s run to the FA Youth Cup semi-finals last season. He made his first senior start against Blackburn last night.
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Gavin
Hoyte
Age 18 1.80m / 5.9ft.
71kg / 156lbs
Defender .
Arsenal
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gavin hoyte 70x70 Top 20 Future England Football Stars Younger brother of the former Arsenal full-back, Justin, the defender joined the club at nine and has proved quick, athletic and astute both at right-back and centre-half. A regular with the England Under-19s and in Arsène Wenger’s Carling Cup side that enjoyed wins over Sheffield United and Wigan.
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Henri
Lansbury
Age 18 1.83m / 6.0ft.
75kg / 165lbs
Midfielder .
Arsenal
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henri lansbury 70x70 Top 20 Future England Football Stars Strongly built and powerful yet creative on the ball and a goal threat, the England Under-17 midfielder has been at Arsenal since he was nine and has recovered from the glandular fever that frustrated his progress in the second half of last season to feature in the Carling Cup this term.
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Josh
McEachran
Age 15 n/a Midfielder .
Chelsea
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Photo
N/A
A skilful left-footed midfielder whom Chelsea have retained despite persistent interest from Manchester United. He can play on the left or right and has already impressed Luiz Felipe Scolari at Stamford Bridge as he furthers his development in the youth sides. Has been captain of the England Under-16s.
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Jacob
Mellis
Age 17 n/a Midfielder .
Chelsea
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jacob mellis 70x70 Top 20 Future England Football Stars The England Under-19 international signed from Sheffield United in the summer of 2007 and has since been employed everywhere from attacking midfield – scoring twice against Liverpool reserves recently – to full-back and centre-half within the Chelsea academy set-up.
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Victor
Moses
Age 17 1.78m / 5.8ft.
72kg / 158lbs
Forward .
Crystal Palace
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victor moses 70x70 Top 20 Future England Football Stars Born in Nigeria but resident in the UK since he was five, the graduate of Palace’s academy broke into the first-team last season and has since signed a four-year professional contract at Selhurst Park. Strong, skilful and quick, he has maintained his progress this term.
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Nile
Ranger
Age 17 n/a Striker .
Newcastle
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nile ranger 70x70 Top 20 Future England Football Stars The word among Newcastle United’s youth and reserve ranks is “Ranger is the danger”. The prolific striker, spirited north from Southampton’s youth set-up, has sat on the first team bench a few times already this season and is tipped for Shearer-esque scoring feats.
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Jack
Rodwell
Age 17 1.88m / 6.2ft.
72kg / 158lbs
Defender / Midfielder .
Everton
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jack rodwell 70x70 Top 20 Future England Football Stars Senior debut came as a substitute against Alkmaar at the age of 16 years 284 days, making him the youngest ever Everton player to appear in Europe. A current Under-19 international often compared to Rio Ferdinand, he is strong, quick and assured. Has made eight first-team appearances this season.
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Freddie
Sears
Age 18 1.70m / 5.6ft.
67kg / 147lbs
Forward .
West Ham
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freddie sears 70x70 Top 20 Future England Football Stars A run of 25 goals in 24 matches for the youths and reserves forced him into the first-team set-up last season, and it took the striker just five minutes and 16 seconds to score his first senior goal, the winner against Blackburn in March. He has featured regularly this term under Gianfranco Zola.
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Jonjo
Shelvey
Age 16 n/a Midfielder .
Charlton
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jonjo shelvey 70x70 Top 20 Future England Football Stars The club’s youngest player, debuting at 16 years 59 days against Barnsley in April, he had made his mark as a goalscoring midfielder in the youth and reserves set-up at the Valley. He captained the England Under-16s in their 2007 Victory Shield campaign, scoring three goals in as many games.
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Danny
Welbeck
Age 18 1.85m / 6.1ft.
73kg / 160lbs
Striker .
Manchester Utd
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danny welbeck 70x70 Top 20 Future England Football Stars Skilful, strong and pacy with a prolific scoring record for the United junior sides. Sir Alex Ferguson likens the slightly unorthodox Welbeck to Portsmouth’s Nwankwo Kanu and has said “Danny has marvellous things about him.” An Under-19 international who has trained with the first team.
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Aidan
White
Age 17 n/a Defender .
Leeds Utd
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aidan white 70x70 Top 20 Future England Football Stars The full-back, who boasts a fine left foot and decent pace, made his debut earlier this season in the Carling Cup defeat of Crystal Palace and was given a standing ovation upon being substituted. He is now making regular appearances in the League One club’s first-team set-up.
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Jack
Wilshere
Age 16 1.70m / 5.6ft.
60kg / 132lbs
Midfielder .
Arsenal
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jack wilshere 70x70 Top 20 Future England Football Stars Eye-catching performances in the Carling Cup this season and Arsenal’s youngest league debutant, at 16 years 256 days, when he came on against Blackburn in September. He scored his first senior goal in the 6-0 rout of Sheffield United and had a fine game against Wigan on Tuesday.
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Michael
Woods
Age 18 1.82m / 6.0ft.
79kg / 173lbs
Midfielder .
Chelsea
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michael woods 70x70 Top 20 Future England Football Stars Plucked from Leeds United’s academy, much to the Yorkshire club’s frustration, the England Under-18 international made his first-team debut at Chelsea in January 2007 at 16 years 275 days. Scolari called the defensive midfielder up for last night’s Carling Cup tie against Burnley at Stamford Bridge.

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Did we forget anyone? Fire away your suggestions/comments below!

Marco Pantanella is the author & editor of the mCalcio blog

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Comments (33)

  1. so there isnt any promising GK for England in the near future?

    Michael Mancienne Capello chose him and he doesnt make the list?

    and how many of the players are really from their club and not stolen from lower leagues?

  2. Not a single goalkeeper…

  3. Firstly, I always preface articles on England by declaring that I am not English.

    Regarding:

    “Of course being Italian I’m a bit biased, but Don Fabio is a winner and as such, the man usually likes to pick players who are winners themselves. No one will dispute that John Terry, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, and Wayne Rooney (just to name a few) are lacking in that department,”

    Now if this is a wind-up, fair enough but….

    Terry: 2 x PL medals and several cups.
    Gerrard: CL winners medal and several cups, many of which he won almost single handedly.
    Lampard=Terry.
    Rooney: CL winners medal and 2 x PL medals.

    Complete nonsense and undermines the whole article.

    If you mean players who have been winners at International level…well it would take me all night to list the names of top players everywhere who are in the same boat.

    As for the list of ‘potentials’, history clearly shows that for any list of highly rated players 18 and under only something like 10% ever make it as top stars.

    Sorry Marco, don’t buy it at all.

  4. I don’t say this because i am a fan of Everton, but where is James Vaughan?!

    Please let him fit in whit this players

    (i come from Belgium, so don’t be angree if my English is not good)

  5. I have seen Nile Ranger play footie and he is superb very good young talent!!!

  6. I do not see anything valuable to add. To say that Gerrad is nothing near to good is so bad.

  7. what about ramsey from arsenal

  8. What about Kieron Gibbs? A very promasing Left Back. And in response to hello, Ramsey unfortunatly made his debut for Wales :(

  9. Why is James vaughan not in the list?

  10. You may want to check your source, Welbeck is 17 years old.

  11. #7 Hello……… Ramsey is welsh so that would be why! Micah Richards should definately be up in that list.

  12. what about zele ismael?

  13. or even zele ismail…

  14. BD Condell wrote:

    Regarding:
    “Of course being Italian I’m a bit biased, but Don Fabio is a winner and as such, the man usually likes to pick players who are winners themselves. No one will dispute that John Terry, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, and Wayne Rooney (just to name a few) are lacking in that department,”

    Now if this is a wind-up, fair enough but….

    Terry: 2 x PL medals and several cups.
    Gerrard: CL winners medal and several cups, many of which he won almost single handedly.
    Lampard=Terry.
    Rooney: CL winners medal and 2 x PL medals.

    Complete nonsense and undermines the whole article.

    Darn BD, that didn’t come out right. I wrote one thing, meant another.

    What I meant to say was “No one will argue that John Terry, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, and Wayne Rooney (just to name a few) are lacking in that department”. If you read my previous sentence (“Don Fabio is a winner and as such, the man usually likes to pick players who are winners themselves.”), I meant to say that Capello likes to pick winners, and then proceeded to list examples of said winners.

    With that said, the fact that you’re the only one that picked up on this, is an interesting realization in itself. All the other readers seemed to have ignored the introductory paragraph and jumped straight to the list. Wonder why I wrote the damn thing. :)

  15. hiepdn wrote:
    You may want to check your source, Welbeck is 17 years old.

    18 since November 26, but corrected.

  16. BD Condell wrote:
    As for the list of ‘potentials’, history clearly shows that for any list of highly rated players 18 and under only something like 10% ever make it as top stars.

    So? That 10% is precisely what we’re interested about.

    No one ever said that every single one of the 20 players listed above would be future England internationals. I only said the Three Lions have an interesting pool of youngsters to pick from.

  17. Ehem…

  18. you’re forgetting that david seaman’s pony tail is also coming through the ranks at arsenal!
    forza fc flora tallinn!!!!!

  19. i think clubs like chelsea should not steal young players from the lower league….no goalkeeper..

  20. 3 Of These Are From Leeds :)

    Adam Llalana ,Or However You Spell It, Is A Good Talent He’s At So’ton
    Daniel Rose Also Should Be Good…Former Leeds But Snatched By Tottenham :(
    Ben Amos Is A Good Young English Keeper
    Dan Sturridge At Man City Aswell, Starting To Get A Run In The First Team
    Scott Sinclair Chelsea

  21. i cant believe west hams 19 year old star junior stanislas or jorden spence. also our 15 year old wonderkid robert hall

  22. What about manchester united’s GK, Ben amos? Fergie said that he would maybe be a replacer of Van Der Sar. Im from Norway so sorry about my english.

  23. jonny howson of leeds is pretty good
    febian delph also from leeds
    danny welbeck of man united
    andy caroll from newcastle
    jack cork from chelsea
    james henry from reading
    i got plenty more in my head

  24. Adam Pepper(Liverpool)

    Banik Afobe(Arsenal)

    Ravel Morrison(Man Utd)

  25. korey smith (norwich city)

  26. Joe Hart from birmingham and Ben Alnwick from totenham should be on the list…..

  27. not a promising future by the looks of it

  28. where is Connor Wickham? He will be the next big top striker. :D

  29. excuse me what about jordan rhodes and alex smithies << A GOALKEEPER who is like 19 ? get good

  30. YESS A DECENT PERSON WHOS GOT SENSE CONNOR WiCKHAM!!

  31. Phil Jones, the young CB at Blackburn could be a good shout

  32. Looks like another 44 years of hurt…

  33. errrmmm, andy carroll from newcastle scored an amazing hatrick against villa at the weekend, errrmmmm kieran gibbs. Decent list and good to see nile ranger on there too