The current England team appears to be a different beast under manager Gareth Southgate’s tutelage and leadership. He has assembled a roster brimming with talent, experience, dynamism, and a desire to prove their worth.
Southgate has given debuts to players such as Phil Foden, Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham, and Mason Mount since taking over in 2016. Following in their footsteps, other English players around the world appear to have stepped up their game in order to stake a claim for a spot on the national team.
This has given the gaffer a lot of welcome selection headaches. Neither he nor the English fans, however, will complain about the talent in their ranks.
With the new football season slowly but steadily gaining traction, many players have found their stride. Established young players such as Jude Bellingham and Trent Alexander-Arnold have put in outstanding performances. Others who have recently been called up to the England squad, on the other hand, are making headlines. Let’s look at the top five most in-form English players in the world in 2021.
Number 5: Jude Bellingham
Birmingham City sold 17-year-old Jude Bellingham to Dortmund for a record fee in 2020, leaving many fans perplexed. The Blues also decided to retire the teen’s jersey number, prompting rival fans to mock the decision with jokes and memes. After just 18 months, the youngster has established himself as a regular first-teamer for both his club and England.
According to Transfermarkt, the England youngster appeared in 46 games for Dortmund last season, scoring four goals and setting up four more for his teammates. He logged a season-high 2,821 minutes, an accomplishment made all the more impressive given his young age.
Bellingham has three goals and seven assists in 18 games for the Black and Yellow this season across all competitions. These statistics, combined with Jude’s impressive height and dominant playing style, are merely qualifiers for the level of exceptional talent that fans witness every time he steps onto the field. The young man from Birmingham has a bright future ahead of him.
Number 4: Reece James
Reece James is another local boy who has become a national hero thanks to his outstanding performances for England and Chelsea. He is one of many Chelsea youngsters who have progressed from the club’s Cobham academy to the first team.
James has made 96 appearances for Chelsea and is still only 21 years old. What’s more, despite playing as a right-back or right center-back throughout his young career, he has seven goals and 12 assists to his name.
Chelsea has struggled with injuries to their two main frontmen, Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner, this season, and many doubted they would be able to fill the goalscoring void left by their two talismans.
Reece James stepped forward. The young England full-back has made 12 appearances across all competitions this season, contributing four goals and four assists to Chelsea’s pursuit of more silverware. James played an important role in West London’s 2021 Champions League and UEFA Super Cup triumphs. He was also a member of the England squad that finished second at Euro 2020.
Given his background, Reece James is likely to remain a one-club man for the rest of his career. If he can do that while remaining healthy and a member of the first team, this young player is destined for greatness.
Number 3: Aaron Ramsdale
Aaron Ramsdale was arguably the most contentious signing of the summer transfer window leading up to the 2021-22 Premier League season. The England goalkeeper has a bleak record, having been relegated in consecutive seasons with AFC Bournemouth (2019-20) and Sheffield United (2020-21). His performances since joining Arsenal, however, have turned many heads, and people are drawn to the enigmatic energy he possesses.
Ramsdale has led Mikel Arteta and his young Arsenal team’s comeback in form. In 11 appearances for Arsenal this season, he has seven clean sheets and five goals allowed. Arsenal fans around the world like their new goalie, who could challenge Jordan Pickford.
Only time will tell what happens, and “Rammers” will continue to captivate.
Take a look at his statistics before Arsenal’s game against Watford last weekend.
Number 2: Phil Foden During
Phil Foden‘s name and abilities have received so much attention in recent years that he could easily be mistaken for a seasoned veteran. However, at the age of 21, the young Mancunian literally has the world at his feet.
Foden is not your typical left-footed player, as he possesses some unique abilities. When he gets going, his close control and agility in tight spaces in wide areas make him a nearly irreplaceable presence in attack.
The England youngster has already made 137 appearances for City in all competitions, scoring 36 goals and providing 26 assists. So far this season, he has played in 13 games across all competitions, tallying five goals and four assists.
Foden’s number of starts for City shows how much Pep Guardiola likes him. If he keeps up his current pace, he might join Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard as England’s top goalscoring midfielders.
Foden greets Smith Rowe in a video published by England Football’s Twitter account.
Number 1: Emile Smith Rowe
Emile Smith Rowe is arguably the most exciting player on an Arsenal team that is the Premier League’s youngest this season.
Due to James Ward-injury, Prowse’s the England midfielder, was called up this week. Will the Hale End graduate play as well for England as he has for Arsenal?
Smith Rowe has played nearly 1,000 minutes for Arsenal in 13 games this season. He’s showing early signs of becoming the goal-scoring midfielder the Gunners have lacked in recent seasons. He has scored five goals and assisted on two more, demonstrating his attacking prowess.
With Southgate and his England team struggling to make a decision from an already overcrowded roster, it will be fascinating to watch Emile Smith Rowe and other England youngsters develop over the next few years. Until then, let us be grateful for their performances as they occur.