England boss Hodgson impressed by young Team GB trio

After the run to the quarter-finals of the Olympic tournament, the Three Lions manager was left impressed by three Manchester United and Chelsea stars hoping to make the step up
Roy Hodgson has identified Chelsea duo Daniel Sturridge and Ryan Bertrand, as well as Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley, as potential England stars after being impressed by their performances at the Olympic Games this summer.

Our definitive countdown of the finest players from 2011-12 has commenced. Click here to view our slideshow of the stars who ranked 50-4 in our list!
Team GB were beaten on Saturday by South Korea at the quarter-final stage on penalties, but coach Stuart Pearce wasted no time in declaring that Sturridge and Cleverley were ready to make the step up to senior international football.

And Hodgson hopes that the Olympic experience has set the trio - who have only one England senior cap between them - on the right path to start making a regular spot in his squad their own.

Speaking to the Football Association's official website, Hodgson said: "Most of them (the GB players) are pretty much ready anyway, but one or two of the younger players like Bertrand and Sturridge and players like Tom Cleverley, who is coming back from injury, may have not been quite so much a fixture in their teams.

"Let's hope the Olympic experience with Team GB has given them a better chance of staking a claim for a regular spot."

Hodgson will name a squad for the friendly with Euro 2012 finalists Italy on August 15, and has previously stated an intention to use some players who weren't integral parts of his European Championship squad.

20/1 England are 20/1 to win the 2014 World Cup with Bet365
"There will be players involved in that game who weren't part of the Euros and I'm sure Italy will make changes too, so it won't be two similar line-ups from the quarter-final but it will be quite interesting to play so soon after our elimination against them," he added.