Three more young guns may face Brazil as South­gate goes look­ing for a new Eng­land

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Front Page - By Sam Wal­lace and Matt Law

Gareth South­gate has added three more un­capped play­ers from Eng­land’s ju­nior ranks for Tues­day’s friendly against Brazil with call-ups to the se­nior squad for Do­minic Solanke, Lewis Cook and An­gus Gunn.

The Eng­land man­ager said on Fri­day night that he an­tic­i­pated there would be some who would drop out the se­nior squad and af­ter the suc­cess­ful de­buts for Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Tammy Abra­ham, Jor­dan Pick­ford and Joe Gomez, South­gate is keen to give chances to more of those who have made an im­pres­sion for Eng­land over a suc­cess­ful sum­mer in the ju­nior tour­na­ments.

Eng­land will face the top-ranked Fifa na­tion at Wem­b­ley with one of the most in­ex­pe­ri­enced squads in mem­ory but with en­thu­si­asm grow­ing to see what the young play­ers can do fol­low­ing vic­to­ries at the Un­der-17s and Un­der-20s World Cups and the Un­der-19s Euro­pean cham­pi­onships. Phil Jones, who came off on Fri­day night af­ter 25 min­utes with a thigh in­jury, has left the squad.

Cook, 20, was the cap­tain of Eng­land’s vic­to­ri­ous Un­der-20s World Cup squad and op­er­ates in mid­field, although he has failed to se­cure a reg­u­lar place in the Bournemouth side this sea­son. Solanke, also 20, like Loftus-Cheek and Abra­ham, came through Chelsea’s academy and joined Liver­pool in the sum­mer frus­trated by his lack of first team game-time at Stam­ford Bridge.

The striker scored for the Un­der-21s against Ukraine on Fri­day night and his man­ager Aidy Boothroyd said that the player was ready to make the leap to the se­nior team. It was orig­i­nally South­gate’s plan to call up De­marai Gray and Do­minic Calvert-Lewin but in­stead he is strength­en­ing the po­si­tions in which the team might po­ten­tially lose play­ers.

Gunn, 21, is the es­tab­lished Un­der-21s goal­keeper, a Manch­ester City ju­nior

and the son of for­mer Scot­land in­ter­na­tional Bryan Gunn. He will be in as cover for Jack But­land, who broke his fin­ger in train­ing this week.

Af­ter Fri­day’s match South­gate gave a strong in­di­ca­tion that he would favour younger and less ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers for the last two friendlies in March against Italy and Hol­land be­fore se­lect­ing his squad for Rus­sia in May. Roy Hodg­son took a sim­i­lar ap­proach be­fore the 2014 World Cup, se­lect­ing Luke Shaw ahead of Ash­ley Cole.

South­gate said: “I’ve got to as­sess who are the play­ers that I think could play at the high­est level. They might not be 100 per cent ready now but who do we want to in­vest our time in?

“The likes of Ruben and Gomez, when he came on, and Jor­dan, have shown some really good qual­i­ties. Harry Winks is the same. We can start to look at some of these guys and see what is pos­si­ble. Some of them might not be ready for next sum­mer, but there are ex­cit­ing young English play­ers com­ing through.”

He said that he be­lieved rare tal­ents like Loftus-Cheek would not go un­der­ap­pre­ci­ated in the mod­ern era, as the likes of Glenn Hod­dle, John Barnes and Paul Sc­holes once did, be­cause they can be bet­ter ac­com­mo­dated nowa­days. “The tac­ti­cal sys­tems we will play, Ruben or Dele [Alli] might not fit into a 4-4-2, but now we could fit those sorts of play­ers into dif­fer­ent sys­tems. Some of the play­ers [in the past] you talk about would have flour­ished in a game like we had against Ger­many.

“But also what I like is that one mo­ment we are talk­ing about Harry [Kane] or Dele. There is Mar­cus [Rash­ford], Ruben. We are not just hang­ing our hat on one player. It means the pres­sure will be shared. You’ve got [John] Stones who I thought was ex­cel­lent. So col­lec­tively I think they can with­stand los­ing a cou­ple of play­ers if we get in­juries.”

Tar­get man: Do­minic Solanke scored for Eng­land’s Un­der-21s on Fri­day night

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