The world of social media went into meltdown last night as everyone was stunned with the news that England had called up Jack Cork to replace Harry Winks.
Spare a thought for England boss Gareth Southgate, who has seen his side preparations for friendly match against Germany and Brazil descend into chaos having axe six players from the Three Lions’ squad.
Raheem Sterling, Jordan Henderson and Manchester City’s Fabian Delph have joined Harry Kane, Harry Winks and Dele Alli in withdrawing from the original England 25-man squad.
Southgate has looked to the service of Burnley’s Jack Cork to join Jake Livermore, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Eric Dier, Jesse Lingard and Ashley Young.
Who could the England boss have selected instead?
1. Everton’s Tom Davies
Tom Davies has signed a nee improved contract.
The 19-year-old Everton midfielder has been somewhat of a revelation for the Toffees since his introduction into the first team by Ronald Koeman last season. Still only 19 years of age, he has shown brilliant calm and composure in the opportunities he has been given.
Davies has been in and out of the side under Koeman, but that may be down simply be protecting the teenager, and Davies responded well to that: “It’s part of football, isn’t it?” he said last month. “I didn’t expect my career to be all flowers and roses. This is just another part of my development really, a good challenge.”
2. Newcastle United’s Jonjo Shelvey
Jonjo Shelvey is not quite as young as Tom Davies, but the Magpies midfielder has showed consistently brilliant performances for Newcastle United. Shelvey may not have managed a goal or assist so far this season for Rafa Benitez’ side, but the 25-year-old role and importance to the team cannot be understated.
Even Fabrice Muamba took to social media to voice his displeasure that the Englishman had been overlooked once again. It appears that he will just have to keep plugging away if he is to find his way into Southgate’s 2018 World Cup squad.
Jonjo Shelvey over looked again.
— fabrice muamba (@fmuamba) November 7, 2017
3. AFC Bournemouth’s Lewis Cook
Lewis Cook: Struggling for game time with Bournemouth
Lewis Cook who’s struggling for game time with Bournemouth, had his first taste of football at Wembley as Tottenham beat Bournemouth 1-0 last month, but it will almost not be the 20-year-old last. Cook told the Daily Echo: “It was a great atmosphere and a dream come true to play there.”
He joined the Cherries from Championship side Leeds United for a fee of £7million, but even before his move to the Premier League side, there were whispers from Elland Road of a possible international future. Cook even captained the England U20 World Cup winning side earlier in the year, the Three Lions’ first global tournament success since 1966.
4. Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere
It’s fair to say that Cork’s inclusion to England’s squad raised a few eyebrows among Arsenal fans, who wish to see Jack Wilshere return to the squad. Even the Gunners boss Arsene Wenger joined the growing number of voices for Southgate to call up the Arsenal’s midfielder.
In fairness to Southgate, he stuck to his guns in selecting only players regular first team minutes, but then you have players included like Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard, who has nailed just 228 minutes of Premier League action for the Red Devils compared to Jack Cork’s 990.
Wenger claims Wilshere is as fit as anyone in his current squad, but despite the Frenchman’s comments, Wilshere has only been used in the Europa League “back-up” squad. So is Wilshere selectable? the answer for this now appears to be no….
5. Watford’s Tom Cleverley
It is worth nothing that Tom Cleverley is officially on stand-by should Southgate have to suffer the pain of yet another drop-out.
Watford boss Marco Silva weighed in on Cleverley missing out on the Three Lions squad again: “I’ve seen him this week and I’m sure he won’t change. He’s a fantastic professional and a fantastic man. He’ll fight for his position in our team and to do his best for us, and after that it’s a decision for the England manager.”
The 28-year-old is a growing crowd of people asking for the former Red Devils and Everton man to be given a shot. Most of them may be Watford fans, but still.