Off late, English soccer has seen a downfall whereby they were downgraded in FIFA ranking along with their dismissal performances on various occasions especially in Montenegro in World Cup qualifier last month. Over a long time, it has been believed that English managers are lacking good talent as generally found in other countries, like Brazil or Spain. But now, English Football Association’s elite development director Dan Ashworth has identified seven rising stars he thinks would prove English sovereignty in world football in coming years. Ashworth has long been working with Under 16 to under 20 players hence he is well versed with the goldmine of young talent English managers could have if these stars get better infrastructure and training during their initial years. He named seven players as the rising stars of contemporary English soccer and this list includes Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Danny Welbeck, Wilfried Zaha, Thomas Ince, Raheem Sterling, and Luke Shaw; all these players are in the range of seventeen to twenty-two year of age so they can better be trained in next couple of years.
He talked about his choice of players in detail during an interview given to a news agency where he said, “There are several players I can mention who are plying their trade at the top of the Championship or in the Premier League who will hopefully be the future of England football. Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Danny Welbeck have got into Roy’s senior side early. Then we have players like Wilfried Zaha, Thomas Ince, Raheem Sterling and Luke Shaw – they could play at a lot younger age groups internationally and yet are in the U21s or in the seniors. The U21s have qualified again for the European Championships this summer and we have a lot of good young players in the junior teams. I think the new the Elite Player Performance Plan will also help in that contact time with young players will increase. That can only help if we are teaching the right things, which I am sure we will do. We are at crossroads now and the start of a really bright future with all those things married together, it will only help the national game.”
He also put an example of other nations who could successfully recover from their dark period by optimum utilization of available young pool of players. He particularly talked about Spain and praises their talent discovery skills that made them 2010 World Cup champion along with last two European Championships titles winner.