Great Britain

Harvey Barnes, Bukayo Saka and the other players giving Gareth Southgate pleasant headaches

Let’s be honest, as England supporters we had to endure a fallow period of attacking talent.

After the so-called Golden Generation (zero trophies) hung up their boots, Wayne Rooney was left the to fly the flag on his own for a few years as the only truly global name among the forwards who could be classed as world-class at his best.

It wasn’t until Raheem Sterling (£6.5m) and Harry Kane (£6.7m) developed into the players we know them as today that the outlook started to look brighter for fans of the Three Lions.

As we look towards Euro 2020 (2021) – which may well be played exclusively on home soil – a whole generation of promising attacking players seems to be blooming before our eyes.

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Marcus Rashford (£5.2m) and Jadon Sancho have boasted impressive numbers for their respective clubs since the last major international tournament.

The former is one of just three players with 200+ Dream Team points at the time of writing.

Recent call-ups for Jack Grealish (£4.5m), James Maddison (£4.1m), Mason Mount (£3.1m) and Phil Foden (£4.3m) have all been warmly welcomed as Gareth Southgate has gone from a dearth of creative midfielders to a luxurious surplus.

Then there’s the next wave spearheaded by the likes of Bukayo Saka (£3.6m), Harvey Barnes (£3.0m) and Mason Greenwood (£2.2m), who have all made compelling cases for international inclusion in recent times.

This trio have just six caps between them at this stage but are surely set for established England careers.

Few players are pushing harder for a spot in Southgate’s next squad than Leicester’s free-scoring winger.

Barnes has scored 13 goals in all competitions to move from outsider to a serious contender in terms of England’s set-up.

Saka was previously used as a left-back by Southgate but his form since fulfilling an advanced role at Arsenal has changed the landscape further.

The 19-year-old has registered six goals, six assists and five Star Man awards in Dream Team this season.

30 points in the last two Game Weeks has propelled him up the midfield rankings to the front door of the top ten with 102 points.

As for Barnes, he’s just four points away from taking Ilkay Gundogan’s (£4.1m) podium position.

The 23-year-old ticked along to 133 points in Game Week 22.

Of course, Dream Team stats aren’t the be all and end all but they do generally correlate with players in fine form.

From an English perspective, it’s encouraging that half of the top ten midfielders are eligible: Foden, Barnes, Maddison, Grealish, Mount (with Saka not far behind).

It’s highly likely that Southgate will be forced to omit two or three players from his Euros squad who previous England managers would have built a team around.

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