Michael Olise, Matt O’Riley in 7 stars who can pick England for World Cup


Gareth Southgate has named his England squad for the World Cup, but he could still call up some players who have yet to declare for the World Cup – such as Michael Olise and Matt O’Riley.

The Three Lions face Italy and Germany in their final matches before flying to Qatar this month. England travel to San Siro on September 23 to face the Azzurri, before hosting Die Mannschaft at Wembley on the 26th to complete Group A Group 3 of the Nations League.

Southgate has named a 28-man squad for England’s September squad with an eye on the World Cup. It includes a maiden call-up at all levels for Brentford ace Ivan Toney, and Tottenham Hotspur’s Eric Dier will return for the first time since March 2021.

Photo by Naomi Baker – The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Some of the Three Lions squad are lucky to be included in Southgate’s plans for the World Cup. Even the many stars who have left England’s leadership may be sad to be ignored, despite impressing at national level with their teams.

Obviously, Southgate’s options are wide open when it comes to naming his England squad for the World Cup in Qatar. But he can still look outside his tried and trusted options for a player who will add something new in the first FIFA tournament played in the East.

So, with that in mind, HITC Sport takes a look at seven players who could feature for England ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar who have yet to play on the main international stage…

Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

Gareth Southgate must test Michael Olise to declare for England

One player Southgate will try and test to impress for England is Crystal Palace winger Michael Olise. The 20-year-old was born in London, but has played his international football with France at U18 and U21 levels without a cap in the Young Lions ranks.

Olise has played just once for Les Bleus’ U21s, coming on 26 minutes against the Faroe Islands this March on his debut. But with a place in the UEFA European U21 Championship, England officials now fear that Olise will announce his football in France.

“I have seen him called up for the under-21s with France. This time I will say this [a no to England] that’s the point,” U21 coach Lee Carsley said, via The Athletic. “Like many athletes and biracials, they deserve it. We can’t say anything to them.

Carsley informed Olise of England’s interest before accepting France U21’s call-up. The Lions boss was keen to bring the forward – who is also fit for Nigeria – into his squad after he impressed for Crystal Palace with his attacking and creative flair.

Real Sociedad striker Momo Cho could choose to declare for England or France

Real Sociedad forward Momo Cho could choose to declare for England or France ahead of the World Cup in Qatar. The 18-year-old has enjoyed youth appearances for both countries, with U15 and U16 Young Lions caps and Les Bleus tours at U17, U19 and U21.

Cho was born in the French town of Stains, a suburb north of Paris, but spent much of his childhood in England. He joined Everton’s academy from Paris Saint-Germain at the age of 11, with the striker constantly moving around while his parents worked in London, per the Mirror.

The striker failed to break through at Goodison Park before joining Angers SCO’s U19s in 2020. There, Cho flourished and earned a €12-15m (£10.5-13m) move to Real Sociedad in this July. He has started to impress in Spain and has helped Atletico Madrid.

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Celtic star Matt O’Riley can speak for England after Denmark’s snub

Celtic star Matt O’Riley could be one of the latest players to announce for England after Denmark sacked the defender. The 21-year-old is eligible to represent the Three Lions as he was born in London, but could opt for either Denmark or Norway through his mother’s family.

The Scottish Sun reports this January that O’Riley would like to play for a country if selected. Carsley and his Young Lions team scouted him while he was playing for MK Dons, before he earned £1.5m before moving to Parkhead last winter.

Ange Postecoglou is proving that O’Riley can provide a creative threat from central midfield if called upon at international level. But Denmark boss Kasper Hjulmand doesn’t think he’s ready for the Nations League and has opted to leave him out for the U21s this month.

Smallbone doesn’t want to follow Declan Rice and Jack Grealish

Southgate has already been able to convince players who have two nationalities to declare for England, such as Declan Rice and Jack Grealish. But the Three Lions boss will be in trouble if he tries to send Will Smallbone out of the Republic of Ireland.

“My mum loved me playing for Ireland,” the Basingstoke native told the Irish Examiner in 2020. “I’ve always played for Ireland growing up in the age groups. and willing to join the senior team. I’m really looking forward to playing for Ireland.

But being born in Basingstoke to a mother from Kilkenny, Smallbone was able to switch to England. The Southampton product, who is currently on loan at Stoke City, has yet to make it to the top flight as Boys in Green boss Stephen Kenny looks elsewhere.

England could avoid Lukas Nmecha and younger Felix

England could look to avoid losing Lukas Nmecha to Germany by tempting Felix, the younger brother of the Wolfsburg player, to feature for Southgate’s side. The Three Lions handed Lukas caps at U16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21 levels before making his U21 debut for Germany.

Lukas will make his senior debut for Die Mannschaft in November 2021 and now has six caps. Hansi Flick has dealt Southgate a blow by naming the former Manchester City talent in his Germany squad after a strong start at Wolfsburg and victory at the U21 Euros.

The Nmecha brothers were able to speak for Germany and England, they were born in Hamburg but raised in Manchester. Felix is ​​now on track to follow in Lukas’ footsteps after making his Germany U21 debut this March followed by Young Lions U16, U18 and U19 caps.

Felix also left Manchester City for Wolfsburg in the summer of 2021 like Lukas, for £11m. The 21-year-old midfielder is now proving his worth in the Bundesliga, a key part of the Citizens’ U18 and U23 teams, while impressing in the EFL Trophy.

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Bright Arrey-Mbi has already indicated that he will turn his back on England for Germany

Bright Arrey-Mbi has already revealed that he will turn his back on England for Germany for a chance to progress in international football. The Young Lions centre-half made his first international appearance in 2018, earning eight U15 caps before returning home.

He was born in Kaarst, a town just outside Dusseldorf, but moved to England at a young age. Arrey-Mbi also played at Norwich City and Chelsea’s academies before joining Bayern Munich’s academy in 2019. The 19-year-old was on loan to Hannover in the 2.Bundesliga.

Mark McGuinness is not afraid to make big decisions about world affairs

Mark McGuinness is not afraid to make big decisions about his international career after turning England around in the past. The 21-year-old turned down the Three Lions to join the Republic of Ireland’s U19 and U21 ranks, having left Arsenal’s academy in 2021.

He left the Gunners’ ranks for Cardiff City after making his debut in senior football on loan at Ipswich Town. McGuinness – currently on loan at Sheffield Wednesday – also turned down the chance to play in Northern Ireland, the country of the Slough native’s father, in the past.

“There’s always a need and more,” the centre-half told the Irish Independent in March. “But my heart has always been to play here. It’s difficult because you’re a young player at Arsenal, people ask questions all the time.

“But I knew exactly where I wanted to go and play. It was here. It was my first taste. [the Victory Shield with the Republic’s U16s in 2016]. Once I got that, I kept it.

In other news, Tottenham’s target for summer products will be opened amid Conte’s demands

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