Rio Ferdinand has given his preferred England team ahead of the World Cup, leaving out some Chelsea and Arsenal stars.
The England squad is one of the most competitive it’s been in many years, especially in attacking positions. Multiple stars will inevitably miss out, and Ferdinand has given his verdict on who he would pick if he was the manager.
Speaking on his Youtube channel, Ferdinand listed his ideal starting eleven. “I’m gonna go three at the back as I think that’s our best chance,” said Ferdinand, listing Harry Maguire, Kyle Walker, and Reece James as his three central defenders.
England have an array of talent at right-back, so the former Manchester United defender decided to list three in his team.
“Trent at right wing-back and Shaw left wing-back. I’m gonna go Declan and Bellingham. Foden in the hole and then two strikers, Sterling and Kane,” added Ferdinand.
A back five has been used frequently by Gareth Southgate, so it’s understandable to see Ferdinand opting for the same system. There were some notable absences in his England eleven, who may feel hard done by given their form for their clubs.
Bukayo Saka and Mason Mount were two players who didn’t make the cut, and both have a case to be in Southgate’s plans.
Saka in particular has been in excellent form for Arsenal, and is one of the reasons Mikel Arteta’s side are performing so well this season. His skill set is very unique, and he offers something many others don’t.
Jack Grealish and Jadon Sancho also miss out, with Ferdinand opting for Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling playing off Harry Kane.
Interestingly, John Stones also doesn’t make the eleven, with Ferdinand preferring Walker and James playing out of position.