England’s best young players who didn’t go to the World Cup

England’s World Cup may have been over before it really began, but the general consensus is that there still exists a lot of reasons to be hopeful. The squad that went to the tournament was undoubtedly a young one, but in truth, there is even more talent available within the up and coming generation than what was taken to Brazil. The following are 6 players who weren’t selected as part of Roy Hodgson’s side, but should be considered as some of England’s brightest prospects all the same:

1) Andros Townsend   (22 years old)

He divided opinion as a pundit on ITV, and has so far divided opinion as an attacking midfielder on the football pitch. At one point Andros Townsend had looked likely to be included within Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad after some impressive performances in the qualifiers. However, a series of injury niggles and a poor run of form kept him out of the Spurs starting line-up and out of the England manager’s mind. With a little more development, however, Townsend could become a speedy, skilful addition to any squad, and he could yet prove to be of Premier League quality.

2) Jack Rodwell   (23 years old)

Incredibly, Jack Rodwell is still only 23 years old. At Everton he had shown promise, and he no doubt still possesses the talent for which he became famous. However, a series of injuries at Manchester City has meant that his career with the Sky Blues has never really taken off. He’s still at the Etihad, though, and learning from some of the best in the world. The hope will be that one day in the near future, Rodwell will gain a run in the first team, that he will stay injury-free, and that he will become a great midfielder.

3) Nathan Redmond   (20 years old)

There weren’t too many bright lights in Norwich City’s season last year, but Nathan Redmond was certainly one of them. The winger is fast and direct. He is the type of player who can pick the ball up on the outside of his own penalty area, and be inside the opponent’s within ten seconds. The Canaries will face a tough battle to keep him at Carrow Road over the summer, as he could be destined for big things.

4) Connor Wickham   (21 years old)

He proved a miracle man for Sunderland last year, as Connor Wickham appeared to really come of age during the last few games in the Premier League season. The striker provided some crucial goals for the Black Cats as he proved to be an all-round centre forward. He can score with his feet and with his head, and he knows exactly where to be in order to get an opportunity.

5) Tom Ince   (22 years old)

Ince was probably one of the most high-profile names to not particularly be considered for a spot in the England set-up, and he will be looking for a summer move to the Premier League in order to stake more of a claim for the Euro 2016 squad. Whilst his father Paul was a tough tackling, intimidating midfielder, Tom is a delicate, skilful and rapid wide player. There are a lot of Englishmen emerging in his position though, so he will have to be on the top of his game from now on.

6) Jon Flanagan   (21 years old)

Flanagan made the reserves list for the World Cup in Brazil, and rightly so. The full-back was drafted in as a replacement for the injured Jose Enrique at Liverpool, and he performed admirably well. The Reds’ back-line came under frequent fire for its frailty, but Flanagan was seen by many as the strongest player amongst them. An unassuming character, he works hard for the team, expects none of the credit, but should probably receive some.

Updated: July 3, 2014 — 8:30 am
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