10 Uncapped Players That Could Make The England World Cup Squad
World Cup years see a desperate scramble for places on that all-important plane and 2018 will be no different as every player eligible for England fights for a spot in the squad in Russia.
Plenty of familiar faces will be there but there is still time for uncapped players to make it into the final 23. Here are 10 men who are yet to pull on the England shirt but can still make the World Cup cut.
- Ben Mee
There are plenty of centre-backs to choose from for Gareth Southgate, but none really look like nailed on selections for the first team and there are opportunities for newcomers to make their case for a trip to Russia.
Michael Keane and Harry Maguire have both been capped recently and Burnley’s Ben Mee is either on or very close to their level. He has been a rock solid, reliable performer in a very good Clarets defence which has been especially impressive this season.
At 28-years-old he has plenty of experience, including some at England youth level, so would be a pretty safe pair of hands to call upon if necessary.
- Alfie Mawson
For the same reasons Ben Mee might get a call-up for Russia, there might just be a space for Alfie Mawson on that plane if he continues to impress at centre-back for Swansea.
The Swans are not having a good season by any stretch of the imagination, but Mawson continues to attract suitors and has been linked to a number of other Premier League clubs.
He has six Under-21 caps so he is on the England radar, and he has the added bonus of being a genuine goal threat from the back. 18 goals in his previous three seasons is a very decent return for a centre-back and might just tip the balance in his favour if it comes down to a tight call between a few options.
- Mark Albrighton
No one would be getting excited about this selection, but Mark Albrighton has been a reliable and consistent performer in the Premier League for the last four years, winning the title along the way.
The winger has played and scored in the Champions League as well, so he has experience on the biggest club stage available. He is not a great goal-scorer and it is not like any international side will be quivering in their boots at the prospect of facing Mark Albrighton and has done as much in the Premier League as the likes of Nathan Redmond and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who have both been capped recently.
Stranger things have happened.
- Lewis Cook
The captain of England’s 2017 under-20 World Cup winning side, Lewis Cook is bound to get a senior cap at some point in the future, and it might just happen in time for the next World Cup.
The Bournemouth midfielder is clearly well thought of by England manager Gareth Southgate as he was called up for the friendly against Brazil at Wembley last year. Cook didn’t get onto the field, but he is clearly not too far away from doing so if he made it into that squad.
He has not had the greatest season so far, neither has his team, but a strong end to the campaign would put him well in contention.
- Charlie Austin
England have their first choice striker in Harry Kane, but after that there is not a lot of depth at all. The fact Tammy Abraham and Dominic Solanke were called up to a recent squad proves that, as the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck and Jermain Defoe make no real case at all for their inclusion.
If any forward can go on a bit of a hot streak towards the end of the season then they could easily nab a place in the final squad. Charlie Austin appeared to be on one of those hot streaks before picking up an injury, but if he returns to full fitness and gets into double figures for the season, then there is no reason he cannot make the final cut.
- Andre Gray
Watford shelled out nearly £20m for Andre Gray in the summer and it has not quite worked out, just yet, with only a handful of goals by the turn of the year. However, he has time to turn that around and go on a decent run by the end of the season.
Quick and strong, Gray has the attributes to be a top striker, but her really needs to rediscover the form that saw him secure the big money move from Burnley.
It would take a very impressive end to the season, but as mentioned, there is a spot available up front and Gray could fill it.
- Callum Wilson
Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson can also throw his hat into the ring for a late call-up to the squad if he can get on a bit of a hot streak before the end of the campaign.
The forward has been blighted by injured since Bournemouth’s arrival in the Premier League in 2014, but his goal-scoring record when he has been playing has been pretty good. If he can remain on the field until the summer then he can get ahead of his rivals in the race to be back-up to Harry Kane.
Something of a poacher, he could be very useful to bring on in the latter stages of a game when England are searching for a goal.
- Michail Antonio
The West Ham winger is a bit mercurial, but he is undoubtedly dangerous on his day. Pacey, direct and lethal in the air, he has been a surprise hit since joining the Hammers from Nottingham Forest in 2015.
Antonio has been called up to the England squad by both Sam Allardyce and Gareth Southgate but hasn’t yet got off the substitute’s bench. However, this clearly shows he is in the thoughts of those who matter.
He would be a bit of a wildcard, but England do not have a lot of options out wide and he may well prove to be a tempting option for Southgate.
- Mason Holgate
Thanks to injuries and some impressive performances, Mason Holgate has become a regular fixture in the Everton defence in the Premier League this season.
At just 21-years-old, the former Barnsley man still has a lot to learn, but he is developing well, has picked up numerous caps at England youth level and has the added bonus of being able to play at centre-back and full-back. Flexibility and adaptability are key when choosing a tournament squad.
The Toffees are not exactly pulling up trees this season, but if Holgate continues to impress, despite the team’s poor results, then he might just sneak on the plane.
- Demarai Gray
The 21-year-old has begun to fulfil some of his immense potential this season with Leicester City and is pushing for a place in the England squad having racked up nearly 30 caps at youth level.
Gray has still not reached the levels of consistency required to demand a place in the national team, but his pace and trickery will make him an appealing option to bring off the bench.
The youngster will have to put in some eye-catching performances before the summer to give himself a chance, but he is more than capable of doing just that.
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