England heads into this Nations League game on Saturday with Spain with a noticeable lack of striking cover for first-choice striker Harry Kane.
The Tottenham striker is untouchable in terms of selection. However, if boss Gareth Southgate wanted an alternative or if Kane were to gain an injury the England boss has very few options, especially after Jamie Vardy’s international retirement.
The current backup players to Kane are Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck, who is a backup at Arsenal and Marcus Rashford who is not guaranteed a starting place at Manchester United. Even when the latter does play it usually out wide due to the presence of Romelu Lukaku
Youngsters struggling to play Premier League games
Arsenal legend Ian Wright recently made a good point in that young English strikers are not enjoying much Premier League action. The underage England teams have performed exceptionally in recent years, with their striking shining.
The likes of Dominic Solanke, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Rhian Brewster and Tammy Abraham have all impressed in the junior ranks. However, none of them will see much first-team football.
Calvert-Lewin has made a few appearances for Everton of late because of injuries and suspensions, while Abraham has been shipped out on loan to Championship Aston Villa. Liverpool duo Brewster, who is currently injured and Solanke face competition from one of the most prolific attacking trio in Europe, in Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.
In short, the youngster’s chances of featuring on a regular basis in the top-flight are not great. If they do not play in the Premier League, they cannot prove they are good enough to play at international level with their country.
Untried options also ignored
Two of the players who were mooted as options for the current squad were Watford’s experience forward Troy Deeney and Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson. Both players have started the season in good fashion.
However, Southgate has virtually ruled out a call-up for Deeney, as he is looking to concentrate on younger players coming into the set-up. He also suggested that the 30-year-old does not suit England’s style of football.
Wilson is an interesting one, as the 26-year-old has endured some horrendous injury problems. However, when he has been fully fit and playing, the former Coventry striker has looked a big attacking threat.
For me, the Cherries star was unlucky not to receive a call-up, especially with the dearth of attacking talent available to Gareth Southgate. The England boss did mention that Wilson is in his thinking and a player familiar to him from the under-21 team. He may get a call-up in the near future.
England lucky to have Harry Kane
Harry Kane is as reliable as forwards come in the modern game. England are lucky to have him and he is the favourite to score first in the Three Lions game against Spain on Saturday night. However, the Three Lions would be in major trouble if he sustained an injury. There is a real dearth of strikers who could come in and score goals for the team. Hopefully, Kane stays fit and injury-free for the sake of club and country.
Are there any strikers who should be the England squad that have been omitted from the latest squad?