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Could it be six Southampton players in the England team a year from now?

Southampton Huddle

Adam Lallana, Jay Rodriguez, Rickie Lambert ... Nathaniel Clyne, Luke Shaw, James Ward-Prowse - could Southampton dominate the England squad?

Yesterday was a day of celebration at Southampton’s training ground, as the club revelled in the inclusion of three players in an England squad for the first time since Peter Shilton, Mark Wright and Danny Wallace were all included back in 1986.

And it is fair to say they deserve it. Rickie Lambert seems to have established himself as a worthwhile member of the set-up under Roy Hodgson - while Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez have been pivotal to the form that has seen The Saints march into sixth position, their best start to a campaign since 1983-84.

But here is a bold prediction for you … could it be six by this time next year?

Personally, I don’t see why not.

Across the message boards and Twitter feeds yesterday that was all the talk - with Nathaniel Clyne, James Ward-Prowse and Luke Shaw all mentioned as potential stars of the England team in years to come.

Clyne for instance has arguably been playing better than Kyle Walker over the past 18 months - and with Glen Johnson entering his 30’s next year the young right-back will be knocking at the door.

Then there is Ward-Prowse. Not since David Beckham has an English lad burst onto the scene with the dead-ball proficiency of JWP - and he also has the technical and tactical nous we usually see in the German teams or Spanish teams of today, not from a teenager from Portsmouth.

Then there is the best of the lot - Luke Shaw. Bulky and fast, clean in the tackle and a modern day full-back - with the sands of time running out on Ashley Cole’s career he will have his eye on an England cap in the next 12 months.

There is also talented Callum Chambers coming through, who looks a real one for the future.

But then again there is also every chance that in 12 months’ time, there could be none.

Lallana and Rodriguez face mass competition for their roles on the field, and could easily slide out of international contention. Meanwhile age is not on Lambert’s side - with suitors coming through from beneath that could see him out the squad in a year.

As for the hopefuls. Ward-Prowse as a central midfielder has huge competition, although the impending international retirements of Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and potentially Michael Carrick gives hope to JWP as well as Ross Barkley, Ravel Morrison and so on.

And Clyne and Shaw, as we have addressed, face major competition in the full-back position from just as talented individuals.

Meanwhile, Southampton must also keep hold of them - with Shaw already reportedly catching the eye of Chelsea.

But that is not to say Saints fans should not be optimistic. This is a great time to be a fan at St Marys, and the hope that it could be six in a year will not be extinguished.

Not by the most pessimistic of commentators.

Do you think six Saints players could be in the England team at the same time?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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