In the previous round of qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup, a 5-0 win over Albania before a 10-0 thrashing of San Marino, Gareth Southgate handed out three England debuts.
Arsenal youngster Emile Smith-Rowe made his England bow as a substitute at Wembley against Albania, before his club teammate Aaron Ramsdale made his England debut in between the sticks against San Marino – with 21 year-old Conor Gallagher also coming off the bench in that game to make his first appearance for the Three Lions.
This is continuing an impressive trend for England under Gareth Southgate, who has handed out 49 debuts since taking over in 2016.
However, the high level of debutants in this time is hardly surprising, as England look to have a golden generation of players on their hands – with the team that won the under-17 World Cup in 2017 beginning to come of age – as more youngsters get closer and closer to the fringes of the national team.
So, who could become Gareth Southgate’s next debutant and England’s 1267th player? Here are three potential options.
The impressive Liverpool youngster, who is a regular in England under-21 squad, is edging closer and closer to a full England squad call-up.
The 20-year old has made nine appearances thus far this season for Liverpool – with injuries keeping him from holding down a more regular place in his hometown side.
Jones has made a total of 31 appearances for England national teams across various age groups – having so far made seven app appearances for the under-21s since his debut in October 2020.
An energetic midfielder, capable of playing in a variety of roles has shown during the past two seasons at Liverpool that he has all the talent needed to break into Gareth Southgate’s side.
He has had many impressive showings for Liverpool, with a standout performance in the Reds 3-3 draw away at Brentford, in which Jones scored Liverpool’s third, a highlight for the young Scouser – who will look to break into England’s highly competitive midfield.
Another young, talented midfield who will be looking to break into the England squad is Oliver Skipp.
The Tottenham midfielder has featured 16 times for Spurs this season, being a positive in a so far negative season for the club.
The 21 year-old defensive midfielder spent the 2020-21 campaign on-loan at Norwich in the Championship, making 46 appearances for the club as they charged to the Championship title – with Skipp being included in the Championship PFA team of the year – as Norwich teammate Grant Hanley commenting that Skipp had “experience beyond his years”.
Known for his ability to break up play, being good under pressure and being able to read the game well, Skipp has made 12 appearances for the under-21’s, and if he continues his progression within the Spurs side – something that the appointment of Antonio Conte as manager will undoubtedly help – expect to see Skipp in the conversation for a spot in the England squad.
Whilst not necessarily a ‘youngster’ like Jones and Skipp, 24-year old Bowen is getting closer and closer to a place in Gareth Southgate’s squad.
The West Ham winger had an impressive 2020/21 campaign as the Irons became a surprise top four contender, with Bowen contributing 14 goals and assists in all competitions, but has really kicked on so far in 2021/22.
In his 17 appearances so far, Bowen has had eight goal contributions this campaign, as a spell of impressive displays has catapulted his name into consideration for the England side.
Operating mostly from the right side, Bowen is also capable of playing on the left wing, as well as through the middle – something that he has demonstrated so far this season, as West Ham have built on their impressive form.
If Bowen can continue to help West Ham fight amongst the Premier League’s top dog’s, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t expect to see Bowen representing the Three Lions.