After reaching the furthest point in the World Cup since 2006, the Three Lions have given England fans hope once again.
Since taking over after Euro 2016, manager Gareth Southgate has opted for a younger squad. During their World Cup run they averaged an age of 25, making it one of the most youthful squads at the tournament.
The squad for the upcoming friendlies was released last week. Southgate has kept faith in the majority of players he took to Russia, including Everton goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford, who helped England win their first ever penalty shoot-out at a World Cup.
Chelsea defender, Gary Cahill and Leicester City striker, Jamie Vardy have taken a step back from international duty to let the younger players have their moment. This opened the door to a well deserved call up for Manchester United defender, Luke Shaw. Last season the 23 year old had a tumultuous time proving himself to manager Jose Mourinho, he seems to have finally achieved his goal with Mourinho starting him in all 4 league games so far, and for good reason. He has had an impressive start to the Premier League season scoring his first senior Premier League goal for the club, against Leicester City on the opening night, it turned out to be the winning goal and secured the three points.
The youth among the squad makes a nice change. All too often we’ve seen older players retire from international football or struggle to recreate the quality of their prime, putting the rest of the team in an awkward and lackluster position. By building the team around the young players it gives fans hope, it allows them to dream of the one group of players coming together to build a strong, reliable team that will be around for many years to come.
England face Spain in the Nations League at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, before a friendly at The King Power Stadium, home of Leicester City on Tuesday.