Monday, 9 March 2009

6 + 5 for the future?

Sepp Blatter voiced his fears for the future of English football recently. The FIFA boss believes the controversial 6+5 rule is needed in the Premier League to ensure enough English talent is present in match-day teams. But despite Blatter's doom and gloom there appears to be plenty of young English talent on offer, here is a look at five potential England stars of the future:

Jose Baxter, Everton
Liverpool born striker Baxter is already being tipped to join the long list of home-grown Everton strikers - comparisons with a certain Wayne Rooney have already been mooted. He made his debut against Blackburn on the first day of this season, becoming Everton’s youngest player in the process, and has also captained England’s under-17 side.

Danny Welbeck, Manchester United
The 18-year-old had a prolific record at junior level and has been compared to Kanu by Alex Ferguson due to his unorthodox style. A regular in the England Under-18 side Welbeck has already made his mark on the United first-team with a couple of spectacular strikes against Stoke and Derby and an appearance at Wembley in the Carling Cup final.

Jack Rodwell, Everton
Seen as a defender in the long term by Everton boss David Moyes Rodwell found himself in midfield at the start of the campaign. After a brief spell out of the limelight Rodwell return to the first-team in the heat of a Merseyside Derby FA Cup tie and won plaudits for his neat passing calm and assured possession. He scored his first goal for the club in the FA Cup fifth round against Aston Villa last month.

Jack Wilshere, Arsenal
Despite Arsene Wenger receiving criticism for the lack of English players in his squad, 16 year-old Wilshire has been the outstanding performer whenever the Arsenal ‘kids’ have made the step up to the first team. Wilshere also became Arsenal's youngest Premier League player when he came on against Blackburn last September. Tipped as a future England captain he has already scored for the Gunners in the 6-0 rout of Sheffield United.

Freddie Sears, West Ham United
A run of 25 goals in 24 matches for the youths and reserves saw Sears earn a call up to the first team towards the end of last season. It took him just five minutes and 16 seconds to score his first senior goal, the winner against Blackburn in March. Quick and direct, Sears has found himself a regular under Gianfranco Zola this season.