Ranked! England's 10 best players right now
10. Jesse Lingard
Scorer of England’s best goal in Russia – a wonderful, curled effort from the edge of the area that made the shortlist for goal of the tournament – Lingard also provided two assists from midfield for Gareth Southgate’s side.
The 25-year-old has operated across the forward line in the past, but his true worth has become apparent as a busy No.10 behind the striker who links play excellently. Lingard’s joy for the game is clear for all to see, but he also possesses great intelligence and tactical awareness – as evidenced by his ability to adapt to new positions and carry out instructions admirably.
9. Harry Maguire
An unlikely hero of England’s summer success, Maguire’s defensive shifts and aerial threat from set-pieces – see that majestic header against Sweden for one – led to the Leicester centre-back attracting interest from Manchester United over the summer.
A move to Old Trafford never materialised, leaving many Red Devils fans to rue what could have been after their defensively dodgy start to the season, but the 25-year-old has nevertheless cemented himself as a key part of the national team’s backline. Great work, Slabhead.
8. Kieran Trippier
Things have changed rather a lot for Trippier since the summer. Another of England’s breakout stars in Russia, the dynamic Spurs wing-back put in a run of eye-catching performances that have altered his everyday life back home. As he told The Guardian: “I get stopped in M&S these days. That didn’t use to happen."
The former Burnley man has thrived under Mauricio Pochettino’s guidance at White Hart Lane and added ‘set-piece specialist’ to his array of talents. His free-kick rocket against Croatia in the semi-final clearly gave the 27-year-old confidence, since he took over duties from Christian Eriksen against Fulham on week two of the Premier League and dispatched another beauty from distance.
7. John Stones
After some tricky moments in his development where he threatened to temper his great promise with frequent errors, Stones has emerged as a commanding centre-back who is comfortable on the ball.
Although the 24-year-old is still some way from being the finished article, he has become a central figure not only for his country but also for Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering City side. Injury problems restricted him to just 18 league appearances last season, though, so he'll be hoping for more involvement this time around.
6. Jordan Henderson
Mr. Consistent: Henderson’s part in the success of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool last season shouldn’t be underestimated. The former Sunderland midfielder performs a pivotal role in the German’s tactical masterplan, mopping up and dictating the tempo to help the Reds’ star-studded forward line do their thing.
The 28-year-old skippered the Reds to the Champions League final before anchoring England’s midfield in Russia, and although his playing time has been more limited so far this season for Liverpool, it’s likely that the reliable Henderson’s leadership will be called upon again for big occasions over the next year.