Gareth Southgate’s England have now played their final game of 2018, beating Croatia to top their Nations League group just months after losing to the same opponents in the World Cup Final.
It’s quite rightly being looked upon as a fantastic year for the Three Lions and now, the boss is planning for bigger and better things in years to come with a certain Palace academy graduate thought to be high up in his mind as a potential star.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s stock has risen incredibly quickly since the full-back made his first-team debut towards the back end of the 2017-18 season but now, having put in a string of eye-catching displays in the Eagles’ defence, it seems Southgate is keen to bring him and a host of other bright young talents into the fold sooner rather than later.
The likes of Ben Chilwell, James Maddison, Jadon Sancho and Joe Gomez have all been involved in full England squads of late and now, it sounds as though Wan-Bissaka may be lined up as part of another batch of youngsters given the chance to shine on the international stage.
Reiss Nelson, Phil Foden, Ryan Sessegnon, Mason Mount and Morgan Gibbs-White are all being mentioned alongside Aaron as names which are now on Southgate’s radar, highlighting the impressive shift which has taken place in the thinking process with regard to the international pathway for young players in this country since the gaffer took charge.
As Palace fans, we saw first-hand what happened when Wilfried Zaha was continuously ignored by England bosses and thankfully it looks as though they won’t be making the same mistake with Wan-Bissaka. Opposition wingers don’t like him but as long as his domestic and international coaches do, the right-back should continue to go from strength to strength for years to come.