Michael Olise and Odsonne Edouard are both Frenchmen without cap and in this XI after a couple of debuts this week…
Goalkeeper: Guglielmo Vicario (Tottenham, not Italy)
The goalkeeper of the season so far is an Italian who has sat on the bench nine times for his country and watched Gianluigi Donnarumma and Alex Meret start in his stead. But a phenomenal start to this campaign since joining Spurs might just earn him a chance.
Right-back: Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Manchester United, not England)
It remains extraordinary (and possibly unique this century) that an English player with over 100 Premier League appearances for Manchester United has not been capped for England. But there was a renaissance at the end of last season for Wan-Bissaka, who remains a phenomenal one-on-one defender, so perhaps the door is not fully closed on his international prospects.
Centre-back: Sven Botman (Newcastle, not Netherlands)
Excellent for Newcastle in the Premier League but still uncapped for a Dutch side that boasts several excellent centre-halves, though at least he made it as far as the bench before being ruled out of this autumn’s internationals by injury.
Centre-back: Ezri Konsa (Aston Villa, not England)
As Aston Villa have established himself in the top five, Konsa has formed a phenomenal partnership with the brilliant Pau Torres. He owes Unai Emery a massive debt of gratitude. He finally got an England call but a debut eludes him.
Left-back: Rico Henry (Brentford, not England)
Now ruled out with a long-term injury, which will save Gareth Southgate from pretending that Henry is not worthy of a place in an England squad as a left-back despite him having very few fit, natural left-backs.
Central midfield: Morgan Gibbs-White (Nottingham Forest, not England)
He was close enough in March that Gareth Southgate commented on him: “He’s having a good season at Forest. We think it’s a little bit early for him with us but we’re watching him closely.” But in truth, his form has not been as brilliant this season for an inconsistent Forest so the wait goes on.
Central midfield: Harvey Elliott (Liverpool, not England)
Pushing out his Liverpool teammate Curtis Jones for this position is a 20-year-old who is firmly established in the second tier of that Liverpool midfield, playing every minute of the Reds’ Europa League campaign so far. He’s unfortunately a little way off an England call but the future looks relatively bright in that central area for the next national team boss.
Central midfield: Jacob Ramsey (Aston Villa, not England)
Largely missing out on this exciting Villa season through injury, Ramsey really should be part of an exciting future for both club and country, though every emerging English midfielder has to contend with a) Jude Bellingham being the best in the world and b) Jordan Henderson playing until he is 47 and turning out for Marine FC.
Right wing: Michael Olise (Crystal Palace, not France)
He qualifies to play for France, Algeria, England and Nigeria but so far he has put all his œufs dans le même panier. A serious injury has curtailed him this season so he is yet to add to his seven France Under-21 caps. Realistically, he probably should have chosen to join Chelsea if he wanted to catch the eye of Didier Deschamps.
Left wing: Anthony Gordon (Newcastle United, not England)
Had a belting – and frankly surprising – start to the season in Newcastle colours and was particularly brilliant in their demolition of Sheffield United. He is said to be on Gareth Southgate’s radar; if the squad was picked on form alone, he would surely be in ahead of both Jack Grealish and Marcus Rashford.
Striker: Odsonne Édouard (Crystal Palace, not France)
Joao Pedro’s debut for Brazil necessitates a change here and Edouard is currently the Premier League’s top uncapped scorer with five goals. Remarkably, he has scored 17 goals in just 14 games for France Under-21s but also remarkably, he is still only 25 so the dream is not yet over.