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Incredibly, it is just 496 days until the next World Cup.
And yet Gareth Southgate will already be thinking about his team for Qatar in 2022.
Southgate has picked 79 players during his 61 games in charge – and his whole success has been built on bringing in new players, championing youth and looking to the next generation.
Three Lions boss Southgate refuses to stand still and is already identifying the England stars of tomorrow who can be a part of his World Cup campaign.
The St George’s Park production line has made England’s young squad the envy of even some of the bigger nations with the likes of Jude Bellingham, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka all playing a part at the Euros.
England's youngsters are aiming to follow in Bellingham's footsteps with a senior call-up
But this is now the chance to keep evolving, keep looking to the stars of tomorrow and to raise the bar again by bringing in the youngsters now so they are ready for the future.
That is why Southgate will immediately be thinking about promoting 18-year-old Bellingham from being a substitute at the Euros into his starting line-up for Qatar.
Bellingham has the potential to be England’s next Steven Gerrard, is playing regularly in the Champions League for Borussia Dortmund and has a maturity way beyond his years. He will be an England regular for the next decade.
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But England are also looking beyond as the likes of Ben White, Ben Godfrey, Curtis Jones and Emile Smith Rowe are in Southgate’s mind for 2022.
Brighton defender White is a hot property with Arsenal chasing him in a £50m transfer saga and, even though he did not get a minute at the Euros, his ability on the ball is exactly the reason why Southgate will promote him.
Equally, Everton ’s versatile defender Godfrey pushed his way into the preliminary squad and his future looks bright.
Smith Rowe has won two caps for England Under-21
Liverpool midfielder Jones is another who is good on the ball, with more game time he will push for a senior call-up and that now looks just a matter of time.
Arsenal playmaker Smith Rowe, 20, is another firmly on the England radar as he can play wide, in the No10 role and his link-up and understanding with Saka could be interesting for both club and country.
It was back in November 2019 when Southgate first championed Manchester City’s Phil Foden for the England set-up, claiming it was a matter of “when and not if” he would break into the senior squad.
Which youngsters would you like to see represent England at the 2022 World Cup? Comment below.
At that stage, Foden had made just three Premier League starts and was very much seen as one for the future at City. Now, Foden, 21, is seen as a mainstay.
That is the sort of faith Southgate has in young players and will show with the likes of Mason Greenwood who is destined for the very top and may also produce the quality back-up needed for Harry Kane.
But Foden being pushed even before he was a first team regular for his club just underlines how Southgate wants young players to keep his squad fresh, hungry and alive.
Here is a look at six who might break through for the 2022 World Cup:
1. Curtis Jones
It is only a matter of time before the 20-year-old earns a senior call-up
The Liverpool starlet offers something different in midfield, an ability to run with the ball, pick a pass and drive forward. It is a matter of time before his call-up.
2. Emile Smith Rowe
Arsenal youngster made his mark last season, Barcelona wanted him as a kid, the 20-year-old is certain to get an England call – if he continues to play. Must get guarantees.
3. Harvey Elliott
The teenager was hugely impressive on loan at Ewood Park
(Image: Craig Galloway/ProSports/REX/Shutterstock)
A huge talent. The Liverpool winger is still just 18, shone on loan at Blackburn, do they loan him again or play him? If he plays then he’ll get an England call.
4 Carney Chukwuemeka
The midfielder is the jewel in the crown in Aston Villa’s academy. Got first team game time to keep him at Villa and fend off interest. Important they keep pushing him.
5. Shola Shoretire
Shoretire replaced Marcus Rashord to make his United debut aged 17 in February
(Image: POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
The 17-year-old has made his first team debut. Manchester United are pushing him hard. Next World Cup maybe Mason Greenwood’s time… but he’s not far behind.
6. Liam Delap
Man City striker would be playing regularly at another Prem club. He is in with a few to watch with the likes of Tottenham’s Dane Scarlett, Chelsea’s Tino Anjorin and Liverpool teenage prodigy Kaide Gordon.