With the likes of Raheem Sterling, Calum Chambers, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Phil Jones already on the scene it is clear Roy Hodgson has youth at the heart of his England plans.
With that in mind there is an added incentive to play well for the under-21 side and Gareth Southgate’s squad already boasts a number of players who look set to follow in the footsteps of Sterling and co.
Here Ladbrokes News looks at five current U21s who could feature in England’s next World Cup squad.
Eric Dier -Tottenham
A product of the Sporting Lisbon youth academy (his mother worked in Portugal) Dier’s introduction to English football couldn’t have gone much better, netting the winner in a 1-0 victory over West Ham on his debut and scoring again next time out in a 4-0 triumph over QPR.
It’s for his defensive capabilities that Dier should press for England honours though. Comfortable at centre back and right back the 20-year-old has a long way to go but has already shown glimpses of what he can achieve at White Hart Lane.
Saido Berahino -West Brom
Berahino has long been hailed as one for the future but could find himself in the senior set sooner rather than later after a blistering start to the Premier League campaign.
The 21-year-old has smashed five goals in the first seven games and while Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge look to have the front line sewn up, Rickie Lambert’s place could come under pressure, while an injury to either Welbz or Studge would surely see the Baggies man get the nod.
Tyler Blackett – Manchester United
United’s frustration in the transfer window – as far as defenders are concerned – has been Blackett’s gain, with the academy player starting United’s first five league games before picking up a red card against West Ham.
Blackett was probably as surprised as anyone to feature so heavily for United but he has played well and could soon overtake the likes of team mates Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw in the Three Lions pecking order.
Jamal Lascelles – Newcastle
20-year-old centre back Lascelles has already been snapped up by Newcastle after impressing for Nottingham Forest in the Championship and the Magpies have allowed the youngster to continue his development on loan at the City Ground.
This first–team experience, in a side pushing for top honours in the second tier, should elevate him above those peers spending time on the bench or in the reserves when it comes to international consideration.
James Ward-Prowse – Southampton
With Adam Lallana, Jay Rodriguez and Luke Shaw all paving the way the omens look good for Ward-Prowse who featured 34 times for Southampton as they took the Premier League by surprise last term.
The 19-year-old has retained his position in midfield under Ronald Koeman and while the competition for places in the middle of the park is fierce with England he should be given his chance in the coming years.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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