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The seven saviours of English football?

The Football Association's new director of elite development Dan Ashworth has named seven players he feels will be the future of English football. Ashworth picks out England squad members Jack Wilshere, 21, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 19, and Danny Welbeck, 22.

Rising stars Wilfried Zaha, 20, Thomas Ince, 21, Raheem Sterling, 18, and Luke Shaw, 17, are also identified.

He told BBC Sport: "There are several players I can mention who are plying their trade at the top of the Championship or in the Premier League who will hopefully be the future of England football.

"Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Danny Welbeck have got into Roy's senior side early.

"Then we have players like Wilfried Zaha, Thomas Ince, Raheem Sterling and Luke Shaw - they could play at a lot younger age groups internationally and yet are in the U21s or in the seniors.

"The U21s have qualified again for the European Championships this summer and we have a lot of good young players in the junior teams."

He added: "I think the new the Elite Player Performance Plan will also help in that contact time with young players will increase. That can only help if we are teaching the right things, which I am sure we will do.

"We are at crossroads now and the start of a really bright future with all those things married together, it will only help the national game."

About the author

Dave Williams

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