Ian Wright questions England's striking options and calls for young stars to move from top clubs
England start Nations League campaign against Spain on Saturday
Last Updated: 07/09/18 7:43am
Ian Wright has advised young English strikers to move away from top clubs in order to enhance their chances of representing their country.
England head into their two international matches on a wave of optimism following a World Cup campaign where they exceeded expectations and made the semi-finals.
However, a lack of striking options, bar Harry Kane, could hinder Gareth Southgate, especially since Jamie Vardy decided to retire from international duty.
Marcus Rashford has only made one start for Manchester United so far this season and was sent off on his last appearance, while Arsenal's Danny Welbeck has just two substitute appearances to his name since Unai Emery took over.
Wright has questioned whether the strength-in-depth is there if Kane is unavailable, citing the fact that Rashford is not even deployed as a central striker for Manchester United when he does get minutes.
He told The Debate: "Are they going to play at the level in order to push the current strikers in the England team?
"We're going to need these players to get playing and get scoring in order to push people like Harry Kane.
"It annoys me that Marcus Rashford doesn't play down the middle. When he emerged, he was a centre-forward and scored. But as he's got the pace and the know-how to drop back, he's been turned into a winger. He should be playing up the centre. Rashford and even someone like Dominic Calvert-Lewin won't play through the middle due to Romelu Lukaku and Cenk Tosun."
Wright is also worried that the striking talent waiting in the wings, like Calvert-Lewin, Tammy Abraham, Dominic Solanke, Eddie Nketiah and Rhian Brewster, will not be given the opportunities to prove themselves to Southgate.
"They are not coming through the system in order to make a mark at international tournaments," he added.
"Are they going to get into Premier League teams, score goals in order to get Gareth Southgate's attention? They've got so long to go. You're hoping they won't stay in those teams. We've seen what's happened to Tammy Abraham and someone like Ruben Loftus-Cheek - he should be playing regularly at a Premier League team.
"These players can't hang around the big clubs and continuously spend your career on loan. You've got to go somewhere to get yourself scoring goals because Gareth Southgate will take a chance on you if you're scoring goals. The people that are advising them, as great as these clubs are, can't keep them there."
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