Joey Barton: 'He's the most exciting young player in England' - who?

Roy Hodgson close-up England

Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, Everton and Southampton all have youngsters in the England squad for World Cup duty.

While England's buoyancy may have been dulled somewhat by the torrential downpour in Miami that forced the cancellation of their first training session State-side earlier today, it must be hard to wipe the smile off of England manager Roy Hodgson's face when it comes to selection policy.

On Friday, May 30, the Three Lions defeated Peru by a 3-0 score, with Daniel Sturridge excelling thanks to a superbly struck belter from just outside the box. On Wednesday, when the group take on Ecuador, Hodgson said an alternative XI will be fielded, with electric-paced winger Raheem Sterling, Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Everton wonderkid Ross Barkley all expected to receive pitch time.

All three are supremely-talented, as are other young England camp members such as Luke Shaw, yet it is Barkley who QPR midfielder Joey Barton believes is "the most exciting young player in England."

Barton said: "He has the physicality, vision, and technical ability to become one of the best England players that we’ve had in a long time.

"I can’t help but think that a tournament in South America will do his development a world of good, and that he could pull something out of the bag for us in the kind of tight game we’re probably going to have against Italy.

"He has the talent and the self-confidence to be a game changer for us," he concluded.

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