Ranking the England chances of 88 uncapped PL starters

Date published: Monday 28th March 2022 12:22 - Matthew Stead

Uncapped English Premier League players

Gareth Southgate bloody loves naming a big old England squad. Members of that big old England squad similarly love dropping out, thus creating opportunities for players on the outside looking in.

So far this season, 88 players who are eligible for but uncapped by the Three Lions have started a Premier League game. We rank them by order of probability they get a chance, from least likely to most, based not on our opinion but on what we reckon Southgate thinks.

 

88) Mark Noble (West Ham)
There was more than one victim of that pint of wine.

87) Ashley Barnes (Burnley)
Sean Dyche and Austria’s favourite son didn’t get in when he was actually scoring, so no Premier League goals since February 2021 seems critical.

86) Dale Stephens (Burnley)
Starting one game all season is equally detrimental; Stephens has played more than 11 minutes of a league win once since December 2019 and that was against current club Burnley in July 2020.

85) Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Manchester United)
It just isn’t going to happen. Southgate names 427 right-backs in every squad and even lost Reece James and Trent Alexander-Arnold to injury this time yet still found a way not to select Wan-Bissaka, whose performances at club level have not warranted such a nod for ages in any case.

84) Sam Byram (Norwich)
Both league starts this season have resulted in three-goal defeats to bottom-half sides, having been sidelined for almost two years with a hamstring problem that necessitated two surgeries and 20 injections.

83) Joel Ward (Crystal Palace)
Not only still knocking around but very much a regular in Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace side until recently, even captaining the team during his historic rivalry with Nathaniel Clyne for a spot at right-back.

82) Ben Mee (Burnley)
Started alongside Jack Rodwell, Josh McEachran, James Vaughan and Nathan Delfouneso in his last appearance for an England team. His late red card in a 1-0 defeat to Italy U21s in February 2011 has been held against him for more than a decade.

81) Matt Lowton (Burnley)
The quadruple blow of being a 32-year-old Burnley right-back who hasn’t even been first-choice at club level for a couple of months is real.

80) James Tomkins (Crystal Palace)
Those two Great Britain Olympic caps will have to do.

79) Ryan Fredericks (West Ham)
Not really playing for West Ham. Not prominent in Scotland’s plans despite suggestions to the contrary in 2019. Not leaving the Premier League when his Hammers contract expires this summer; Fulham return or a surviving Burnley are sensible bets.

78) Ashley Westwood (Burnley)
Has definitely actually fallen victim to one of his mates winding him by phoning and pretending to be Southgate breaking the good news.

 

77) Marc Albrighton (Leicester)
A hardened veteran of the support group for English Premier League winners who never got an international cap, along with Steve Bruce, David May, Mark Atkins, Tony Gale, Mike Newell, Ian Pearce, Paul Warhurst, Stephen Hughes, Luke Chadwick, Ronnie Wallwork, Stuart Taylor, Demarai Gray, Danny Simpson and Curtis Jones.

76) Isaac Hayden (Newcastle)
“I think the issue is that with the way that England play, they tend to go with a lot more attacking, ‘flairy’ type of players in that area,” was Isaac Hayden’s 2019 explanation for his lack of a call-up. Typical expansive, attacking Total Football merchant Gareth.

75) Dominic Thompson (Ipswich, on loan from Brentford)
The last England call-up from the third tier was Steve Bull in 1989.

74) Nathan Tella (Southampton)
“The way that I believe, the way that I act, I feel that’s from a very Nigerian background so yeah, I would say that my future probably is with Nigeria.” So there.

73) Jamie Shackleton (Leeds)
Fared relatively well when called upon at the start of the season but Shackleton’s last three appearances have come in games that ended 4-0, 6-0 and 7-0.

72) Jack Stephens (Southampton)
Last started a Premier League win in May against Fulham. Seems to make more than the average amount of mistakes for a centre-half, which probably actually boosts his England chances.

71) Charlie Goode (Brentford)
Charlie Goode. England prospects bad.

70) Cody Drameh (Cardiff, on loan from Leeds)
His only Premier League start ever came in that thrashing at home to Arsenal in December. But Drameh has been almost ever-present for Cardiff in the second half of the campaign.

69) Jeremy Ngakia (Watford)
Nice. But There has never been an England international named Jeremy. He’d be checking Qatar accommodation out now otherwise.

68) Jarrad Branthwaite (Everton)
Has made two Premier League appearances under Frank Lampard at Everton: a 3-1 Newcastle defeat and a 5-0 Tottenham thrashing. He was brought on as a substitute on both occasions but still conceded four of those eight goals.

67) Michael Olise (Crystal Palace)
Would be much, much lower but accepted a France U21 call-up when Lee Carsley says England were on the table and there is one logical senior step from there.

 

66) Charlie Taylor (Burnley)
Club manager Dyche noted that Taylor would have to add “maybe a bit more consistency going forward, and a bit more length to his form,” in November’s edition of Carry On Burnley Internationals. “A bit more” is kind – Taylor has no Premier League goals and never more than a single assist in any of his five top-flight campaigns.

65) Jonjoe Kenny (Everton)
Loved by Lampard
 and a versatile 25-year-old with 56 England youth caps who possesses an U20 World Cup winner’s medal, but it would require a hell of a lot of moving parts to fall into place.

64) Jacob Murphy (Newcastle)
Would surely have got his due recognition if he’d just put it in the net against Watford.

63) Sean Longstaff (Newcastle)
Alan Thompson is the cousin of the Longstaff brothers’ father and his solitary cap in 2004 against Sweden remains the obscure family benchmark.

62) Adam Forshaw (Leeds)
Before naming his second England squad, Southgate watched Middlesbrough beat Bournemouth 2-0 in October 2016 with a close eye on three particular players: Jack Wilshere, Ben Gibson and Adam Forshaw. The ship has sailed but it’s strange to think it existed to begin with.

61) Jason Steele (Brighton)
You can never be sure with goalkeepers. Some of us will never forget Marcus Bettinelli. Although Steele has the remarkable distinction of being the only member of the 2012 Great Britain Olympic squad not to actually play at the event.

60) Hamza Choudhury (Leicester)
Time is on the 24-year-old’s side. It is a losing side but still.

59) Charlie Cresswell (Leeds)
A member of the last three England U21 squads, having done largely well in his 138 Premier League minutes. Also not a right-back; Gareth does love centre-halves.

58) Jed Steer (Luton, on loan from Aston Villa)
The first six or so keepers are established in the pecking order and an Achilles injury makes Steer an earwigger of that particular conversation.

57) Solly March (Brighton)
Feels a bit weird that he didn’t get a couple of cursory minutes when Southgate seemed to be handing them out to everyone during his experimental year of 2017.

56) Ben Gibson (Norwich)
Actually got a couple of call-ups during those glorious 12 months, having the privilege of watching England beat Lithuania, draw with Scotland and lose to France. Full set. Lovely.

 

55) Luke Cundle (Wolves)
Properly against Tottenham from the start in February. Has only ever played one Premier League minute otherwise. Doesn’t vacate his teenage years for another month.

54) Josh Brownhill (Burnley)
Being a Premier League regular gives anyone a chance, although that is negated somewhat when it is for the team in 19th.

53) Kieran Dowell (Norwich)
Can play on the right or left and through the middle. Dowell has started two Premier League wins in his entire career – in May 2016 for Everton against Norwich, and November 2021 for Norwich against Brentford. His win for Brentford against another random team in 2026 will be fun.

52) Mason Holgate (Everton)
Noted in March 2020 that “everybody wants to play for England” yet was apparently applying for his Jamaican passport within the year.

51) Tyler Morton (Liverpool)
Six senior starts this season have returned wins against Porto, Milan, Shrewsbury, Preston and Leicester, as well as a draw against Tottenham. Morton’s only issue will be in adding to those opportunities for Liverpool.

50) Axel Tuanzebe (Napoli, on loan from Manchester United)
Not sure if it’s Steven Gerrard or Manchester United’s fault that Tuanzebe has played only 100 minutes since joining Napoli in January.

49) Kortney Hause (Aston Villa)
It was Southgate who gave Hause the first eight of his 10 England U21 caps, although most of those came when the centre-half was playing actual matches at club level.

48) Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle)
“If there were one season I were to get called up it would have been the first season in the Premier League under Rafa,” Lascelles said 18 months ago. “At the time then, it did kind of get to me – I thought what else can I do? But now I don’t even look at the England team sheet because I know I’m not going to get called up.”

47) Tom Davies (Everton)
His only Premier League start of the campaign was a mixed bag: Davies scored the opening goal; it was in a 5-2 home defeat to Watford.

46) Craig Dawson (West Ham)
Not convinced he doesn’t have 72 caps for Northern Ireland, to go with his one substitute minute for Great Britain in an Olympics group-stage dead-rubber.

45) Freddie Woodman (Bournemouth, on loan from Newcastle)
In six starts for two teams this season, Woodman has conceded 13 goals, lost five games and drawn one. Yet even sitting on a Bournemouth bench, he’s probably a couple of injury withdrawals away from inclusion.

 

44) Josh Dasilva (Brentford)
Don’t know whether he remains braced or not
.

43) Todd Cantwell (Bournemouth, on loan from Norwich)
Eight Premier League games for Norwich and eight Championship games for Bournemouth this season. Eight combined caps for England U17s and U21s, too. But no call-up.

42) Adam Armstrong (Southampton)
The second-highest scorer in the history of both England U18s and England U20s could do with a first Southampton goal since November.

41) Karl Darlow (Newcastle)
Wales have as yet been unable to turn the head of a goalkeeper with as many Premier League clean sheets as Victor Valdes.

40) Will Hughes (Crystal Palace)
November will mark ten years since Hughes made his England U21 debut; not sure he’ll celebrate with a place on the World Cup plane.

39) Jack Harrison (Leeds)
The antepenultimate English scorer of a Premier League hat-trick.

38) Cole Palmer (Manchester City)
“I know how it works with young players,” Pep Guardiola said in October after Palmer’s first Champions League goal. “We have to be calm and patient. He trains with us and works with our principles. The people in this world want things immediately, quick, but everything needs time. You cannot cook a good dish if you don’t spend time in the kitchen. So, take time.” It all sounds a bit Phil Foden and that is no bad thing.

37) Carney Chukwuemeka (Aston Villa)
Two goals for England U19 on Thursday against the Republic of Ireland and interest from Borussia Dortmund bodes well.

36) Joe Gelhardt (Leeds)
A record of 13 goals in 25 England youth games reflects about as well as having as many Premier League starts as Premier League games. Which is very.

35) Folarin Balogun (Middlesbrough, on loan from Arsenal)
The 20-year-old has not been afforded the most stable platforms, starting on an injury-ravaged opening weekend for Arsenal and then working his way into Middlesbrough contention. But two goals in his last three Championship matches is a good sign.

34) Angus Gunn (Norwich)
Another of the 2017 beneficiaries, Gunn took a seat alongside Jordan Pickford to watch Joe Hart keep a clean sheet against Brazil at Wembley.

 

33) Brandon Williams (Norwich, on loan from Manchester United)
‘Gareth Southgate is understood to believe Williams has the potential for full England honours,’ The Athletic reported in June 2020. Norwich’s defence might not be the best place to realise such promise.

32) Ryan Sessegnon (Tottenham)
That injury came at the absolute worst time. Sessegnon had started four consecutive Premier League games for Tottenham and become a trusted Antonio Conte lieutenant. The Italian is now ruing “a situation that unfortunately is repeating”.

31) Trevoh Chalobah (Chelsea)
A 22-year-old playing fairly regularly for an elite Premier and Champions League club in a relatively understaffed position at international level would ordinarily slot straight in, but Sierra Leone are lurking.

30) Japhet Tanganga (Tottenham)
At least one cap at every England age group from U16 to U21 is one thing. The versatile defender has been learning under Mourinho, Conte, Mason and other generational coaches for some time so just needs to put that into practise.

29) Rob Holding (Arsenal)
Would be No.1 if England played a low-block 5-2-3.

28) Joe Willock (Newcastle)
If he continues to play next to and learn more about the midfield trade from Joelinton then Willock is in with a shout.

27) Max Aarons (Norwich)
Perhaps it is worth departing the ship as it sinks to the Championship before immediately resurfacing this time. It would be nice if Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Roma and Atletico Madrid were still interested.

26) Matt Targett (Newcastle)
The left-back is certainly somewhere on the radar but Tyrick Mitchell and even Kyle Walker-Peters have jumped ahead on that side.

25) James Justin (Leicester)
Put that ligament problem firmly in the rear-view mirror and Justin will be in there soon enough.

24) Luke Ayling (Leeds)
After being tipped to make the squad in March 2021, Southgate explained that Ayling missed out because of the “incredible competition for places” in a “remarkable position of strength”. The chance hasn’t gone just yet.

23) Dwight McNeil (Burnley)
It’s not happening at Burnley but that next move really is crucial.

 

22) Rico Henry (Brentford)
“He’s developing every single day and I’m pretty sure Gareth Southgate is very aware of Rico Henry,” Thomas Frank said at the end of last year. And we’re pretty sure he’s right.

21) Ben Johnson (West Ham)
Handed a first England call-up of any kind this month, Johnson was an unused substitute against Andorra but should get the chance to build on those fine foundations laid at West Ham soon.

20) Luke Thomas (Leicester)
‘Leicester defender Luke Thomas is in contention for a first senior England call-up when Gareth Southgate names his squad for friendlies against Ivory Coast and Switzerland,’ the Daily Mail claimed in January. Timothy Castagne is back for his left-back spot now but Thomas should still get his moments.

19) Ezri Konsa (Aston Villa)
On the periphery of a hardly extensive centre-half shortlist.

18) Dan Burn (Newcastle)
See above.

17) Anthony Gordon (Everton)
In another era he already has 30 caps on the left but Gordon’s ability to play on the right or in the middle – as well as his 21 years and capacity to thrive under immense pressure in an under-performing team – gives him every opportunity.

16) Curtis Jones (Liverpool)
Finding meaningful Liverpool minutes harder to come by as the Quadruple becomes more inescapable. But is still a 21-year-old Premier League-winning midfielder beloved by one of the best managers in the country.

15) Demarai Gray (Everton)
He and Jones are handing out drinks at the Albrighton’s EPLWWNGAIC support group. A few more goals and Gray forces his way in.

14) Ivan Toney (Brentford)
Could do with putting a stop to getting caught taking the piss out of his employers, although reaching double figures for said promoted club means he will get his shot at providing back-up to Harry Kane soon.

13) Harvey Elliott (Liverpool)
Injury has delayed the inevitable. After playing nine games for higher England age groups at 15 and 16, Elliott finally made and impressed on his U21 debut against Andorra. This World Cup is likely too soon but he will be lifting the next Euros.

12) Max Kilman (Wolves)
The route to his maternal home of Ukraine is blocked by 25 England futsal caps but Southgate stated this month that Kilman is “very much on our radar”.

11) Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (Leicester)
Brendan Rodgers sees “the qualities you would look for in an international player” in Dewsbury-Hall, such as “technique, agility, tactical understanding”. The Leicester manager has challenged his midfielder to “show that consistently over the next few years” first.

 

10) Tino Livramento (Southampton)
He’s proper
. Twenty-nine appearances for England U15s, U16s, U17s, U18s, U19s, U20s and U21s, the most recent of which saw Livramento assist both Balogun and Gordon in that 4-1 victory over Andorra.

9) Oliver Skipp (Tottenham)
Again, current injuries are the only real issue for a player who has followed all the appropriate pathways.

8) Adam Webster (Brighton)
And another, although Webster was actually reported to be in consideration for the March squad before Jamie Carragher’s newest obsession suffered a groin problem. Brighton have lost all five of the Premier League games the centre-half has missed, conceding at least two goals in each match.

7) Tariq Lamptey (Brighton)
Swimming in a sea of English right-backs but doing plenty enough to keep his head above water.

6) Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace)
Cruelly missed out on the provisional Euros squad and has picked up roughly where he left off, which is ridiculously impressive in itself considering the nature and term of his injury.

5) Jarrod Bowen (West Ham)
Eight players have at least eight goals and eight assists in Europe’s top five leagues so far this season. The only players younger than Bowen to fit that bill are Kylian Mbappe and Christopher Nkunku. The West Ham forward probably deserves even more credit than he has already received.

4) Jacob Ramsey (Aston Villa)
Southgate explained that Conor Gallagher “is slightly ahead” of Ramsey, with both players slightly behind but “pushing” Jude Bellingham and “some of the older players in that group as well”. The 20-year-old can keeping developing under Steven Gerrard’s watch for now.

3) Tyrick Mitchell (Crystal Palace)
A spectacular rise
.

2) Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace)
Not even with a full Premier League season to his name yet but Guehi’s stock continues to increase.

1) Kyle Walker-Peters (Southampton)
There is only so long you can keep a man down when their actual middle name is Leonardus. He will enjoy a hard-earned start against Switzerland.

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