"Danny's a certainty to make it at the highest level. I've told Fabio Capello the boy will be in his World Cup squad next year," said Sir Alex Ferguson of young Welbeck.
We're rather hoping Fabio told Fergie that he's unlikely to take Man United's fifth-choice striker, and that there are several names ahead of him on the list of players who could go from uncapped to the World Cup in one season.
Some bookies have priced Wilshere at 5/1 to score in the World Cup finals for England. Woah there, fellas - he's played in two pre-season friendlies, is still only 17 and is yet to play for the England Under-21s. There's jumping the gun and then there's crossing the finishing line before the starter has even got his hand near his pistol.
Frank Lampard and Stevie Gerrard were the only English midfielders to score more goals than Matt Taylor last season so no wonder he was being touted for an England call-up by boss Gary Megson. Playing for Bolton means you start several steps behind your rivals, mind - score ten goals for Spurs and you'll be in the England squad quicker than you can say Jermaine Jenas with your mouth full. Score them for Bolton and the nearest you'll get is the Wembley Stadium Tour.
As long as he remains at Hull, his chances are slim, but a high-profile move to Liverpool, Everton or Spurs could do wonders for his international prospects. Often seemed to be defending solo last season for the Tigers and somehow managed to almost single-handedly keep them in the Premier League, so imagine how much better he would look when not surrounded by the likes of Andy Dawson and Kamil Zayette. He need only look at the career paths of Joleon Lescott and Phil Jagielka for hope.
Ninth in the betting for the top English goalscorer this season, all eight of the names above his have been capped by England. The bookies rate him higher than Carlton Cole, Dave Kitson, James Beattie and Andrew Johnson and so do we. With a phenomenal record of 37 goals in 61 games for Wolves in the Championship, you have to back him to deliver in double figures in the Premier League. Make that closer to 15 and he would be making a very good case for a call-up.
If Gael Clichy fell victim to the Arsenal injury curse tomorrow, Gibbs would fly up this list and with European experience would probably bypass Leighton Baines. But clearly, as long as the Frenchman is fit, he will be Arsenal's first-choice left-back. And as long as Gibbs is second choice at his club, he will never be better than fourth choice for his country. But there will be more World Cups for Gibbs as well as Wilshere.
Trust someone who's seen this boy play over 20 games, this lad is good. On his Sheffield United debut he was the best player on the pitch, and he rarely dropped below that standard. If Harry Redknapp plays him at Spurs - and especially if he plays him at right-back - he will become a very real option in a position hardly blessed with options. Beyond Glen Johnson and Wes Brown, England are barely overloaded with right-backs - the call-up for Gary Neville was very real testament to that.
Having seen a commanding centre-half with a football brain way beyond his years excel on loan at Sheffield United, this writer was stunned to see that Villa were willing to sell him to Bolton in January 2008. Oh how they could do with him back at Villa Park now. Clearly, if Fabio takes four centre-backs to South Africa, they are likely to come from John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Joleon Lescott, Phil Jagielka, Matt Upson and Ledley King, but beyond that Cahill is probably the pick of the rest, as evidenced by his late call-up in June.
At the age of 23, Milner has finally finished with the England Under-21s, having played a record 46 times for Junior England. He finally got a full call-up from Fabio Capello in March but Milner's problem is that Theo Walcott, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Aaron Lennon all have more pace. A lot may depend on Martin O'Neill's plans for Milner this season as there are suggestions that he could take a more central role after the exit of Gareth Barry. Now that's the kind of versatility that may appeal to Fabio in World Cup year.
We were deriding him as a £6m flop this time last season, but by March he was the first-choice left-back for fifth-placed Everton and was celebrating a call-up to the England squad that firmly put him third in the international left-back queue behind Ashley Cole and Wayne Bridge. Assuming Gael Clichy remains fit and Kieran Gibbs remains on the bench, that leaves Baines just one injury (or one bad spell from Bridge) away from South Africa.
You may laugh but before you do, try and think of another tigerish English midfielder who will run all day making tackle after tackle after tackle. Beyond the perma-crocked Owen Hargreaves there is nobody. Neither Michael Carrick nor Gareth Barry fit into that category and we know how highly Cattermole is rated by Stuart Pearce, who undoubtedly has the ear of Fabio Capello.
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