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All eyes will be on the Three Lions' youngsters in Denmark this month to see which players have the ability to make the step up to the Italian's team ahead of Ukraine & Poland

ANALYSIS
By Jonathan Birchall

With Jordan Henderson having completed his move to Liverpool and Phil Jones almost certain to join Manchester United in the coming weeks, the interest in how both perform on England Under-21 duty in Denmark this month looks set to rocket.

The two players looking set to reside on opposite ends of the M62 will now be expected to make the push towards the England squad proper, with Fabio Capello keeping a keen eye on proceedings not only this month, but also for the entire 2011-12 season.

If last Saturday's lifeless draw with Switzerland is anything to go by, some youthful exuberance required ahead in the senior squad of next season's European Championships.

It is hoped that Jack Wilshere's seamless introduction into the Italian's side will have opened Capello's mind to offering youth a chance.

With five of those that started against the Swiss now over 30 and only one under 25, there is certainly an argument that some fresh blood could make a real difference to an aging squad.

Goal.com have compiled a list of the five starlets, all of whom are playing in the Premier League, most likely to break into the national team in the next 12 months.

Tell us who you think should be considered by Capello below. Are the next generation of English talent the real deal, or is the country set for another spell of disappointment?


JORDAN HENDERSON | Liverpool, Midfielder, 20


SEASON STATS
Appearances
39
Goals
3
Assists
5
ENGLAND STATS
Senior call-ups 1
Under-21 caps
7
Under-21 goals
2
First Under-21 cap v Uzbekistan, 10/8/10

With a generation of frustrated England fans having lamented the inability of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard to prove effective alongside each other for the national team, logic suggests that the sooner Jack Wilshere is provided a midfield partner of similar vision and craft, the better.

It is a commodity not common in the English but Jordan Henderson has ability in a abundance and now, having joined Liverpool this week, the 20-year-old will have the winning mentality lacking in so many England players ingrained from an early age.

Henderson was admittedly out of his depth during his England debut against France but was played out of position by Fabio Capello - we can only hope that Stuart Pearce allows the man himself to prove to the Italian the error of his ways in Denmark.

PHIL JONES | Blackburn, Defender, 19


SEASON STATS
Appearances
25
Goals
0
Assists
0
ENGLAND STATS
Senior call-ups 0
Under-21 caps
6
Under-21 goals
0
First Under-21 cap
v Uzbekistan, 10/8/10

If Chris Smalling is seen as one half of Manchester United's imposing defensive partnership in the future, it is looking ever more likely that he will be playing alongside the other in Denmark this month.

Phil Jones is all but a United player after Sir Alex Ferguson broke the Blackburn defender's £16 million release clause earlier this week and as a foil for Smalling, the so-called next Rio Ferdinand, who better than the man labelled as the new John Terry earlier this year.

The Preston-born 19-year-old has shown an ability to lead hardly befitting his tender age and as England look to the future, few players match the youngster's ability to frustrate and nullify and opponent's attacking threat. Premature it may be to say, but Jones is already looking a likely captain in years to come.

CHRIS SMALLING | Manchester Utd, Defender, 21


SEASON STATS
Appearances
33
Goals
1
Assists
1
ENGLAND STATS
Senior call-ups 1
Under-21 caps
11
Under-21 goals
1
First Under-21 cap
v Holland, 11/8/09

Questions were asked following Manchester United's decision to sign Chris Smalling for £12 million last summer but with an assured grace not dissimilar to that of team-mate Rio Ferdinand, the 21-year-old has answered them with astounding confidence.

With Ferdinand struggling with injuries throughout United's title-winning campaign, Smalling has deputised for the 32-year-old alongside Nemanja Vidic superbly, ensuring that the consistency provided by the Red Devils' usual pair at the back has hardly been troubled.

If the pattern continues, Ferdinand may prove too much of a liability if his fitness hangs in the balance come this time next year - Smalling has proved time and again that he is an able replacement.

DANIEL STURRIDGE | Chelsea, Forward, 21


SEASON STATS
Appearances
33
Goals
12
Assists
0
ENGLAND STATS
Senior call-ups 0
Under-21 caps
12
Under-21 goals
4
First Under-21 cap v Holland, 11/8/09

Having seen Daniel Sturridge impress during his recent loan spell at Bolton Wanderers, it may be worth the FA sponsoring the Owen Coyle finishing school at the Reebok Stadium.

It was at this time last year that Jack Wilshere finished a similar period under the Trotters boss and the difference that it brought to the midfielder's game elevated him from hot prospect to world-class prodigy. With eight goals in 12 games during his time at Bolton, the 21-year-old has proven himself to have similar potential and is a natural goalscorer if given the chance.

Whether this opportunity is provided to a striker aiming to break into a side which currently boasts Didier Drogba, Fernando Torres, Nicolas Anelka and Salomon Kalou remains to be seen. I
t would certainly be refreshing for Fabio Capello to take a punt on the former Manchester City hitman despite his relative inexperience at club level and his innate ability makes it a gamble worth pursuing.

KYLE WALKER | Tottenham, Defender, 21


SEASON STATS
Appearances
39
Goals
2
Assists
6
ENGLAND STATS
Senior call-ups
2
Under-21 caps
4
Under-21 goals
0
First Under-21 cap
v Greece, 3/3/10

Much was expected of the Sheffield-born full-back when he joined Tottenham in July 2009 alongside fellow Sheffield United team-mate Kyle Naughton for a combined fee of £9 million, but it is away from White Hart Lane that the youngster has flourished.

Having returned to Bramall Lane the very same summer on loan, Walker continued his development and became an integral part of the Blades' defence, before furthering his footballing education at QPR for the first half of this season and Aston Villa the second.

The 21-year-old's performances at the Birmingham club have truly caught the eye. Glen Johnson may not be an ageing member of the Three Lions squad but Walker's consistency may well just trump that of the Liverpool man, making him an ideal option to have at a major tournament.

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