England vs. Spain: Daniel Sturridge and 5 Youngsters Fabio Capello Should Start
England need to start planning for the future, and these youngsters are the players that Fabio Capello needs to start against Spain on Saturday.
The current squad, and indeed the Premier League, is brimming full of young talent. The longer they are kept out of the England squad, then the harder it will be to get them in and used to playing international football.
England need to forget about winning the European Championships in 2012 and start this weekend against Spain.
Out with the old, in with the new breed. Test the best young talent in England against Spain, the best team in the world. Who knows, we might just give them a shock.
6. Daniel Sturridge
Daniel Sturridge was called into the squad instead of Wayne Rooney, who will miss the group stages of the European Championships in the summer. Now he has been called into the squad Capello needs to give him a chance.
The first in a relatively long list of young players who are not yet the finished article, Sturridge needs some playing time against top class opposition, just like Spain, to see if he is good enough to stand in for Rooney.
Everyone is well aware Darren Bent is a great finisher. But he is far from a complete player, and England need that if Rooney is missing. Playing Sturridge will help us see if he is that man.
5. Leighton Baines
Leighton Baines is not one of the youngest players around right now, but at 26, he still has a few years in him.
With Ashley Cole already over 30, there's a good chance that he is starting to decline. Cole relies heavily on his pace, and as that deserts him, he'll not be good enough for England.
Rather than clinging on to the last days of Cole, Capello should bring in younger talent at fullback, especially in these friendly games.
With only five caps Baines needs a bit more experience, the game against Spain will help provide that. It will also let us know if he is really good enough to play for England.
4. Gary Cahill
Gary Cahill has made a handful of appearances for England and even picked up a goal. He is one player Capello needs to keep in the team.
With John Terry under investigation, for making racist remarks during a game, he shouldn't be part of the squad never mind the starting XI.
That aside age needs to be considered. At 25 Cahill is a far longer term option. Terry is already past his best, his England career is surely hanging by a thread. The game against Spain is a good time to cut the cord and ensure Cahill stays in the team.
3. Phil Jones
The perfect partner for Gary Cahill will be Phil Jones. The 19-year-old Manchester United star has risen to the top very quickly. Get him in that England team and keep him there.
Another player who needs to improve, and gain experience if England are to compete at the 2014 World Cup, Jones should be brought in now and used in the European Championships this summer. Give him time to form a partnership with Cahill, and by 2014, we will have a sold defence.
John Terry shouldn't be in the team. He's too old, too slow and too controversial. Get in Jones to play alongside Cahill.
2. Kyle Walker
Kyle Walker is an uncapped 21 year old who should be given a try at right-back. The whole point of these friendly games is to try out new players. Give him a go.
With Chris Smalling out injured, and Glen Johnson recently returning, now is the perfect opportunity to see if Walker is good enough to wear the Three Lions.
He might well turn out to be useless, but he might also be a revelation and take over the spot full time. Either way he needs to have a try.
1. Danny Welbeck
Danny Welbeck spent last season on loan at Sunderland. During his time there he improved enough to break into Manchester United's first team.
Welbeck had a difficult choice to make, represent England or represent Ghana. He chose England.
He's already made a couple of appearances, notably against Ghana at Wembley, but this is a perfect opportunity for Welbeck to prove his ability. Up against top class opposition, Capello needs to start Welbeck and check out if he is ready to stand in for the suspended Wayne Rooney when the summer comes around.