Newcastle quartet among ten best players England must avoid losing to other countries

Matt Stead
Newcastle players including Anthony Gordon and Elliot Anderson celebrate
England are yet to tie about a dozen Newcastle players down

England have let a few players slip through the same net which reeled Declan Rice and Jack Grealish in before. They might have lured Anthony Gordon in.


10) Trevoh Chalobah
An England cap seemed destined for the head of Chalobah at one juncture. The versatile centre-half had honed his trade on loan in the Football League before returning to Chelsea and immediately being entrusted with a place in the European champions’ defence by Thomas Tuchel.

The still-just-about current Bayern manager tried to rekindle that relationship this summer but neither the Bundesliga champions nor Tottenham or Nottingham Forest could procure Chalobah from Stamford Bridge, where he has been lost in the talent shuffle and has only just started to make an impression under Mauricio Pochettino after injury.

Chalobah signed a new Blues contract in the November of his first season, adding his first goals in the Premier and Champions League soon afterwards. But squad announcements came and went without the same recognition brother Nathaniel received through his solitary England appearance in 2018.

The ship might well have sailed. Sierra Leone, where the 24-year-old was born and spent the first part of his life, could be the ultimate beneficiaries.


9) Rico Henry
There is an element of the supporter base at every Premier League team that publicly and periodically seethes at how England continue to overlook a player only they can properly appreciate. The small pockets of fury that crop up across the country at Marcus Tavernier, Josh Brownhill or Joe Worrall being omitted, ignored or neglected are genuinely wonderful and essential aspects of one-eyed club fandom.

Some persecution complexes are entirely justified, such as the eye rolls of the Brentford faithful every time an England squad is announced. Luke Shaw and Ben Chilwell being ahead in the pecking order is one thing but the other options Gareth Southgate has called upon in the position include Kieran Trippier, Reece James, Bukayo Saka, James Justin and Tyrick Mitchell, whether at left-back or wing-back.

In that context, Henry still going without a call despite his consistent excellence for the Bees does feel weird; Jamaica would love to capitalise and offer a home to another player seemingly unloved by England.


8) Elliot Anderson
“He’s definitely a player we like,” was Southgate’s response when asked about Anderson in September, although that seems to be the stock answer the England manager offers on anyone eligible for multiple countries.

Scotland head coach Steve Clarke said the Newcastle midfielder “will still have that choice to make” after trying his best to take it out of Anderson’s hands by naming him in his squad for their games against Cyprus and England in September, but a withdrawal due to injury kept all doors open for a player who represented both nations at youth level.


7) Marcus Edwards
Out of sight has largely meant out of mind when it comes to Edwards and England, as underlined when the issue was raised again last season because Sporting played a couple of Premier League sides.

The forward certainly impressed against former club Tottenham in the Champions League and then Arsenal in the Europa, scoring a sublime goal in a draw with the former and tormenting the latter in Portugal.

“He has the characteristics, he has the talent, and he can make it into the England national team,” said manager Ruben Amorim of one of the jewels in his club’s low net spend crown. With 49 youth caps and more appearances for the U17s than all but three players, Edwards does have an England pedigree of sorts. Cyprus will pounce if the opportunity strikes.


6) Cameron Archer
The Sheffield United striker is basically the only properly young English striker playing regularly in the Premier League and he has six goals in 11 games for the England Under-21s. His mother is Jamaican so they are interested; Michail Antonio cannot live forever and David Moyes is devastated by that.


5) Carney Chukwuemeka
Since joining Chelsea as “one of the most exciting young players in Europe” in Todd Boehly’s mind last August, Chukwuemeka has played 488 minutes for the Blues and 522 for England U20s. That relationship between club and country posed quite the problem after a promotion from the U19s following victory at the 2022 Euros, with Chukwuemeka scoring in the final.

“I felt a bit for Carney, he was keen to go, but at the same time what happened meant he had to stay,” explained Chelsea caretaker Frank Lampard of the club’s decision to block Chukwuemeka joining up with Ian Foster’s Young Lions for the U20 World Cup in Argentina.

The Blues did have to secure 12th place to be fair. Priorities and all that.

“One of the situations with Carney is that he has come into a club, it was a big move for him and this season he hasn’t managed to get so many minutes. But hopefully, there’s an opportunity in these three games for him,” Lampard added. And there was. Chukwuemeka played nine minutes in a defeat to Manchester City, almost the entirety of an embarrassing thrashing by Manchester United and half an hour of a draw with Newcastle.

“There’s a possibility he can join up at the end of the season if the team get through to the next stages so that might mean the best of both worlds in an ideal way,” was Lampard’s parting message. Chukwuemeka was able to unite with his international team-mates in time to start the round-of-16 defeat to eventual champions Italy.

Austria and Nigeria might not mess the midfielder around quite so much.

Carney Chukwuemeka celebrates his goal
Carney Chukwuemeka has been messed around a bit by Chelsea


4) Tino Livramento
“My mum is the one that wants me to play for Scotland over anyone,” Livramento said in 2021, before admitting that his Portuguese father is, by contrast, relatively ambivalent on the matter of his son’s international allegiance.

My grandparents are from Portugal, it would make them more proud than it would make him if I did. He lets me do what I want to do. He will be happy if I am playing international football for anyone.

That much seems a formality; for whom remains to be seen. Representing England at six different age groups and being a right-back does make for a particularly convincing case but the Three Lions must not be complacent in assuming Livramento will stick it out for too long. Southgate will be thrilled to see him at least sit under the Kieran Trippier learning tree at Newcastle.


3) Joe Willock
Older brother and Manchester United academy alumnus Matty has two caps for Montserrat but Newcastle’s third favourite Joe after Barton and Linton has only ever spoken of a literal rather than figurative desire to “build something” in the Caribbean island.

“My family have a lot of land out there,” said Willock, who wants to “give opportunities to kids who don’t have the chance to come to Europe and play football. It’s something very important to me; my family and I are already working on the plans.”

In terms of playing, the 24-year-old still regards England as his “dream” but neither a record goalscoring run nor a more consistent period as a versatile, hard-working midfielder for a Champions League side has tempted those in charge.

“If I keep on pushing hard hopefully one day I can start asking some questions to the manager,” Willock said last April. He is a fool if he thinks Southgate’s answers will revolve around anything other than Jordan Henderson. Although England have finally seen the light with Kalvin Phillips.


2) Morgan Gibbs-White
Only one England player was named in the squads for the U17 World Cup victory in 2017 and the U21 Euros success six years later. That is a reflection of Gibbs-White’s ironic longevity at youth level, and perhaps a reluctance to introduce a player so indelibly tied to his path through the age groups too soon.

Southgate said the Nottingham Forest playmaker was “progressing well” and being “closely” monitored by the senior set-up despite it being “a little bit early for him with us” in March, with the 24-year-old instead allowed to maintain focus on keeping Nuno Espirito Santo’s side in the Premier League/complaining about refereeing decisions with eight goals and 12 assists since joining for up to £42.5m.

Gibbs-White is of Jamaican descent but it does not sound as though an imminent switch would appeal to a player who “would probably shed a tear” at a mere England call-up. Best check it’s not a mate winding you up first, fella.


1) Anthony Gordon
The Newcastle forward should end up representing England. Gordon’s 34 youth caps include a galvanising turn at centre-forward as Player of the Tournament at the U21 Euros, which has been a springboard towards clear improvement under Eddie Howe at St James’ Park.

But the longer Gordon, who was “100 per cent focused on making the World Cup squad” last September, goes without first-team England recognition, the more attractive Ireland and Scotland’s promise of guaranteed minutes becomes.

Scotland are said to be very interested in Gordon, who qualifies through his paternal grandparents. Southgate has finally called the forward up but he will need to put a more formal ring on it soon.