England manager Gareth Southgate will name his squad for the upcoming UEFA 2020 European Championship qualifying matches against Bulgaria and Kosovo on Thursday.
Speculation suggests Chelsea starlet Mason Mount could get his first call-up having impressed in his three appearances for the Blues this season.
The Three Lions currently top their group on goal difference thanks to their thumping 5-0 win against Czech Republic and could fire themselves well clear of their opponents with two victories at the start of September.
Southgate, though, can expect plenty of scrutiny about his squad with huge selection dilemmas throughout the group.
James Maddison’s good form continues despite the England boss’ seeming unwillingness to pick the Leicester ace, while at right Trent Alexander-Arnold, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Kieran Trippier have all started well.
It promises to be a fascinating squad reveal but how would the 25-man group look if it was picked on statistics from the 2019/20 season?
Here at talkSPORT.com we’ve looked at the best English stars according WhoScored.com and made our selection based on their ratings (out of 10) – and there are some big shocks…
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Nick Pope (Burnley) – 7.10
Jordan Pickford (Everton) – 6.64
Aaron Ramsdale (Bournemouth) – 6.55
Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Arsenal) – 7.29
Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid) – 7.23
Solly March (Brighton) – 7.13
Luke Shaw (Manchester United) – 6.86
Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa) – 7.42
Harry Maguire (Manchester United) – 7.39
Lewis Dunk (Brighton) – 7.32
Ben Mee (Burnley) – 7.31
Jack O’Connell (Sheffield United) – 7.14
Mason Mount (Chelsea) – 7.73
James Maddison (Leicester City) – 7.50
Ross Barkley (Chelsea) – 7.12
Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) – 6.99
John Lundstram (Sheffield United) – 6.89
Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle United) – 6.95
Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund) – 8.57
Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) – 8.29
Ashley Barnes (Burnley) – 8.12
Dwight McNeil (Burnley) – 7.23
Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) – 7.21
Nathan Redmond (Southampton) – 6.98
You can listen to England’s Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo live on talkSPORT
It’s fine picking up expensive star men like Mohamed Salah and Harry Kane – but you might need the odd cheap player so you don’t go over your limit.
Some coaches can find it tricky discovering the best bargains, but never fear, we’re here to help you and have done the research on some of the perfect players for you to pick up once you’ve signed up.
So which defenders should you be looking at if you need to save some pennies? Find out our top Dream Team tips below.
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Lukasz Fabianski (West Ham United) – £2.5m
Only one shot-stopper averaged over 7/10 on WhoScored.com, and that was Polish ace Fabianski.
He might not get heaps of clean sheets, although this could improve with additions to the Hammers, squad but he’s a steady point-scorer.
Rui Patricio (Wolves) – £2.0m
The Portugal international had a fine first season in the Premier League and should do well again under Nuno Espirito Santo.
Ralf Fahrmann (Norwich City) – £1.0m
Landing a goalkeeper on loan with eight Bundesliga seasons under their belt is impressive for a newly-promoted side.
Sure, he was displaced at Schalke last season by talented youngster Alexander Nübel but he should be a fine performer at a cheap price.
Martin Dubravka (Newcastle United) – £2.0m
The Magpies are facing a tough campaign ahead and if he remains at St James’ Park then the Slovakian is likely to be a key star.
He’s been a fine signing and could almost certainly earn himself a big move if he is on top form again in 2019/20.
Matt Targett (Aston Villa) – £1.5m
Having never had a full season as a starting player, Targett has joined the Villans for £15m.
But, he did get three assists and a goal last term as he made 16 appearances for the Saints, which isn’t too shabby.
Targett is set to play a major role for Dean Smith and he could offer cheap points.
Lewis Dunk (Brighton) – £2.0m
A move to Leicester City appears to be in the works if Harry Maguire joins Manchester United this summer.
Dunk is good for a few goals a season, while last year was the first time he hasn’t averaged more than 7/10 on WhoScored.
Playing for a bigger club is also likely to see an increase in clean sheets – the Foxes got 10 compared to Brighton’s seven in 2018/19.
Luke Shaw (Manchester United) – £2.5m
The Red Devils’ standing may have fallen and the ex-Saint might not quite have fulfilled the potential he once showed but he’s a bargain on Dream Team.
If he remains fit all season he should improve on the one goal and four assists he got last-term.
He also got 14 WhoScored ratings of 7/10 or more, which will come in handy.
Thus far, Manchester United have been the most aggressive side in the market. After capturing Daniel James from Swansea City for £15million, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer went big and parted with £50m to sign Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace.
Of course, there are no shortage of potential departures from Old Trafford this season.
So which players can be considering genuinely unstoppable for their sides? Scroll down to see the one player talkSPORT.com believes your Premier League side cannot afford to sell in the transfer window.
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AFC Bournemouth – Nathan Ake
Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser are arguably Bournemouth’s two most important players. Going forward, the duo looked unstoppable at times last season.
But 24-year-old Ake is the main man at the Vitality, make no mistake about that.
Eddie Howe’s side have traditionally suffered dips of form throughout the season, but it is the fortitude of Ake which helped see them through last year.
Averaging 6.1 clearances a game, the Netherlands international is a classic example of what a good centre-back should be.
Arsenal – Alexandre Lacazette
Upon signing for Arsenal in 2017, many fans believed Lacazette was simply brought in to score goals. After all, he had managed to net 129 times in 275 games for previous side Lyon.
But the France international has a vast array of redeeming features which have endeared him to Arsenal fans.
His hold-up play, determination and willingness to play anywhere for his team were key factors behind the fan’s decision to award him the Player of the Year Award.
With 13 Premier League goals to his name last year, the Gunners striker is vital to the way Unai Emery wants to play.
Aston Villa – Jack Grealish
It’s not very often modern day fans get to see a real-life Roy of the Rovers story played out, but Grealish is doing just that.
He then struggled with a shin injury, but lead the Villans to 13 wins out of 16 in the Championship to lead them to the Play-Offs.
The 23-year-old is expected to retain the captain’s armband when the Premier League season kicks off and will be crucial to their survival chances.
Brighton and Hove Albion – Lewis Dunk
When Chris Hughton was surprisingly given the sack at the end of last season, a stunned silence must have fallen over the Amex Stadium.
The Seagulls had just secured a third consecutive season in the Premier League and Hughton is recognised as being one of the nicest men in football.
Given Brighton are now experiencing an overhaul under new boss Graham Potter, the last thing they can afford to do is lose their captain.
The England international has helped Brighton keep 17 clean sheets since arriving in the Premier League, maintaining a tackle success rate of 54 per cent as well.
Burnley – James Tarkowski
Michael Keane’s move to Everton threatened to send Burnley spiralling back into the Championship, but the stoic Sean Dyche dug his heels in and the Clarets are still a Premier League side.
Perhaps no player better epitomises that spirit than Tarkowski. The 26-year-old was promoted after Keane’s move to Merseyside and has worked hard to keep his place.
Now an England international, the centre-back is thriving at Turf Moor. Averaging 6.7 tackles and 1.6 clearances per game, Tarkowski is Burnley’s most important player.
With Harry Maguire potentially leaving Leicester, Dyche has been quick to slap a £40m price tag on the former Oldham Athletic defender.
Chelsea – N’Golo Kante
Of all the players to suffer under Murizio Sarri’s reign at Chelsea, Kante was perhaps the one who bore the brunt of the Italian’s rigid tactics.
Played in a more advanced midfield role, the France international struggled to produce the calibre of performances fans have begun accustomed to. But you don’t win back-to-back Premier League titles and then the World Cup if you’re a bad player.
Despite Kante’s indifferent season, Frank Lampard simply HAS to keep the midfielder and play him in his strongest role.
On his day, there are few better defensive midfielders in the world. During the 2016/17 season, Kante made 127 tackles, 82 interceptions and a staggering 275 recoveries.
Crystal Palace – Luka Milivojevic
A deadline day signing from Olympiacos in 2017 under Sam Allardyce, few Palace fans knew just how influential Milivojevic would become.
The Serbia international has since become the first-choice midfielder, the designated set-piece taker and now Eagles captain.
Strong in the tackle and an excellent reader of the game, the 28-year-old is unerringly consistent and so reliable. He averaged 2.4 tackles and 1.9 interceptions a game, whilst maintaining an 80 per cent pass success rate.
With Zaha seemingly off, Palace will need Milivojevic’s leadership abilities to steady the ship at Selhurst Park.
Everton – Gylfi Sigurdsson
A £45m signing from Swansea City, Sigurdsson is finally getting the recognition he deserves at Everton.
The Iceland international may not possess the pace of modern day attacking midfielders, but his technical ability is impressive.
Last season, he scored 13 goals and registered six assists as the Toffees enjoyed a comfortable season under Marco Silva.
While it would be terrible to lose Harry Maguire to either Manchester City or Manchester United, there are question marks about how much further the England international can develop.
Already an outstanding ball-carrier as well as a solid defender, the 26-year-old is nearing his prime years. And while he is already fantastic, Ndidi could be exceptional. He made 143 tackles in the top-flight last season – more than any other player.
It is almost scary to think the midfielder is only 22 years of age, he was a regular starter for Nigeria at the World Cup last summer and appeared in every Premier League game for the Foxes in 2018/19.
Tenacious in the tackle and averaging 52.2 passes per game, the youngster is exactly what a manager wants from a holding midfielder. If they lose him, there are very players in world football with as much potential they could afford to get.
Liverpool – Virgil van Dijk
Perhaps the easiest name to put on this list, Van Dijk is one of the best players in the world and is set to become the first defender to win the Ballon d’Or since Fabio Cannavaro since 2006.
Statistically, the Netherlands captain was superb; no-one has completed a dribble past Virgil van Dijk in any of his last 64 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool. While Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are important, Van Dijk is irreplaceable.
So even if a ludicrous bid comes in for the 27-year-old, Liverpool simply cannot afford to sell him. Not just because of his on-pitch performances, but for the message it sends to the rest of the world.
After winning the Champions League, bowing to the financial pressure of a Real Madrid or a Barcelona suggests the Reds are weak. Keeping Van Dijk transcends football, it is a power move to reject any and every offer which finds its way to Anfield.
Manchester City – Bernardo Silva
When the little Portuguese rocked up at the Etihad in 2017, many felt he would sit on the bench and play a bit part role for a few years until his namesake David decided to call it a day.
However, the 24-year-old has established himself as one of, if not the most important player in Pep Guardiola’s well-oiled City machine. He epitomises the type of football the Spaniard wants to play.
Silva made 1.4 tackles per game on average in the Premier League, but also managed to keep an exorbitantly high 86.1 per cent pass success rate, which for an attacking is sensational.
With seven goals and seven assists last season, the relentless Guardiola will expect more from a player whose pattern of growth seems exponential.
Manchester United – Paul Pogba
Perhaps the most divisive figure in world football at this time, everyone has an opinion on Paul Pogba.
Talented, yet temperamental, the France international wants out of Old Trafford. But it seems like a huge mistake to get rid of him.
Statistically speaking, Pogba was unmatched at Old Trafford. The 26-year-old scored 13 goals and got nine assists, more than anyone other Red Devil.
But, as with Van Dijk at Liverpool, selling Pogba would be a decision which transcends football. He is a marketable asset and letting him go suggests United can no longer keep, nor attract the best players in world football. He is the last genuine star in that squad.
Newcastle United – Fabian Schar
Newcastle United are in danger of free-falling out of the Premier League trap door and tumbling into the Championship.
Back in May when rumours of a wealthy investor began to circulate, odds began to shorten drastically on the Magpies signing Kylian Mbappe. But the rumours proved to not be true, with Rafael Benitez quickly plotting his escape route to China.
If relegation is to be staved off, the club MUST hold on to the quality players they have in the squad, with Schar the first.
The Switzerland international was Newcastle’s best player according to WhoScored, with a rating of 7.30. His no-nonsense defensive style is complimented by a knack of scoring important goals too.
Norwich City – Tom Trybull
Daniel Farke’s revolution at Carrow Road is nothing short of spectacular, taking an average Canaries side from finishing 14th in the Championship to winning it in spectacular style.
And Trybull’s emergence from Alex Tettey’s shadow to become a first-team regular is testament to Farke’s ability. He will be crucial to Norwich’s chances of staying the division, especially considering they are unlikely to enjoy as much possession in the top-flight as they did last year.
A regular amongst the German youth teams, the midfielder seemed destined for mediocrity until he took his chance in East Anglia. According to Norwich’s Sporting Director, Stuart Webber, Trybull’s new coach had fought hard for the midfielder to come to Carrow Road.
He said: “He is lucky he has an outstanding coach who believes in him. Daniel fought for the opportunity for Tom. He came through very much on Daniel’s advice. I like people who are brave and willing to put themselves out of their comfort zone and pretty much beg for an opportunity.”
Sheffield United – John Egan
A club-record signing from Brentford, Egan has the potential to follow in the footsteps of former Blades hero Harry Maguire.
Egan endured loan spells with Crystal Palace, Sheffield United, Bradford City and Southend United, and has represented Ireland at under-17, under-19 and under-21 level.
He was released by Sunderland at the end of the 2013–14 season, and signed a 2-year deal with Gillingham in July 2014.
But now, he has established himself as a crucial member of Chris Wilder’s’ defence and his willingness to put his body on the line (as illustrated by his red card at Millwall) will be invaluable to securing a second Premier League season.
Southampton – Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg
A former Bayern Munich midfielder, Hojbjerg made the decision to join Southampton in 2016 after being convinced by Claude Puel.
Now working under his THIRD permanent manager in three years, the 23-year-old has taken over the captain’s armband and diligently carries on in midfield.
It is this behaviour which the Saints desperately crave and will need throughout the season. After having some of their best talents ripped from the south coast, Hojbjerg’s single-mindedness and determination is exactly what the club needs.
As illustrated by Mario Lemina, the upheaval at St Mary’s can unsettle players. But Hojbjerg’s unerring consistency will give fans hope of genuine progression in years to come.
Tottenham Hotspur – Heung-Min Son
For several years, the former Bayer Leverkusen attacker was touted as just an ‘underrated’ option up front for Spurs.
But Son is much more than that, his pace and trickery make him a constant threat for 90 minutes, but it it his consistency and the addition of goals which makes him so special.
Harry Kane has shown a pattern of breaking down throughout the course of a season, perhaps linked to his importance for both club and country. In his absence, the South Korea international has led the line superbly.
Watford enjoyed a terrific season last time out under Javi Gracia, reaching the FA Cup final. Although they were thumped by Manchester City, the season can still be classed as a success.
Much of that can be attributed to the presence of Abdoulaye Doucoure at the base of the Hornets’ midfield. Gracia was able to play a diamond in midfield which, thanks to Doucoure, meant Will Hughes and Roberto Pereyra flourished further forward.
Even from a deeper position, the 26-year-old managed to record six assists and chipped in with five goals. His strengths lie in winning the ball back and driving forward, maintaining a 83.5 per cent pass success rate and averaging 1.5 shots per game from a deeper position.
Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly still interested, with Liverpool also in the frame. The Frenchman wants to play Champion League football, but the Hornets must retain their star man if they want to build on their 11th-placed finish.
West Ham United – Declan Rice
For those who watched West Ham regularly last season, you will understand the hype around Rice.
A centre-back by trade, Maneul Pellegrini moved the 20-year-old into the heart of the midfield and he has not looked back, making his England debut later in the season.
He made more tackles than any other West Ham player (98), was second in passes (1,518) and third in interceptions (52).
Quite simply, he is the defensive shield Manuel Pellegrini needs in order to play the attacking brand of football he is famed for. Without Rice at the base of midfield, West Ham lost their opening four games of last season in convincing style.
Wolverhampton Wanderers – Diogo Jota
Ruben Neves is a superstar and Raul Jimenez is also an integral member of Nuno Espirito Santo’s squad, but Jota quickly showed he had the quality to become the main man.
Aged just 22, the versatile forward embodied all that was good about Wolves last season. Fearless and not afraid to attack, Jota scored nine goals and five assists in his debut campaign.
But what is more important is the calibre of opposition he scored against. Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal all conceded against the Portuguese star.
He picked up 11 yellow cards which, although suggests a lack of discipline, is also an indicator of how he is willing to get stuck for his team and even make the necessary cynical fouls when tracking back to stop the momentum of the opposition.
The Premier League transfer window can be a ruthless place, with some of the biggest deals taking place on these very shores.
Following the World Cup in Russia last year, clubs splashed out on a combined £1.24BILLION to bring in new talent.
The total expenditure was just over £200million shy of 2017’s total but smashed the £1bn threshold for a third year running.
Leicester City have become the latest side to buy from within the league, signing Ayoze Perez for £30m.
The forward has penned a four-year contract at the King Power Stadium to become Brendan Rodgers’ second summer capture.
Rodgers had been looking for a versatile forward and it is understood the Foxes triggered Perez’s release clause.
But who else could make the move within the league?
Below, talkSPORT.com has looked at 10 players who could complete moves between Premier League clubs this summer. See if your side features and who they could bring in.
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Harry Maguire (Leicester City)
Two years ago, Maguire suffered the agony of relegation with Hull City. Now, the England international has played in a World Cup semi-final and could well become the most expensive defender in the world.
Both Manchester clubs are reportedly interested in a deal, with United already lodging a £70m bid.
Reports on Friday suggest City are no longer interested, but would the centre-back want to leave Leicester just to play Europa League football with United?
Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)
After coming through the youth academy at Selhurst Park, Zaha hit the big time when he became Sir Alex Ferguson’s last ever signing in football management.
But his move to Man United was a disaster and he ended up back where he started with Palace. Since rediscovering his form, Zaha has become one of the most dangerous attackers in the Premier League.
But the Ivory Coast international reportedly wants a move to ‘boyhood club’ Arsenal and looks set to leave south London once again.
James Maddison (Leicester City)
Much like Leicester teammate Maguire, Maddison had to work his way up the ranks in the lower leagues. The former Norwich City starlet dazzled at Carrow Road before making a switch to the King Power.
And the England Under-21 international proved he had the quality in the Premier League by creating more chances than anyone else in the top-flight in his debut season.
As if losing the Champions League final to Liverpool was not bad enough, Spurs fans had to contend with midfield maestro Christian Eriksen revealing his desire to leave just a few days later.
In the wake of Gareth Bale’s departure in 2013, the Dane is the only player to have thrived at Spurs on a consistent basis.
But Manchester United are keen to make a move, especially if Paul Pogba moves to either Real Madrid or Juventus.
Dwight McNeil (Burnley)
When Burnley named McNeil in their starting XI to face West Ham shortly before New Year’s Eve, there was a feeling of dread lingering around Turf Moor.
Relegation was looming, form was poor and Sean Dyche’s voice seemed croakier than ever. But McNeil’s performances from that point until the end of the season were a huge help for the Clarets.
The 19-year-old has since been linked with Arsenal, Manchester City and even Juventus in the past fortnight.
Xherdan Shaqiri (Liverpool)
After suffering relegation with Stoke City in 2018, Shaqiri moved to Liverpool in a deal which left many sceptics confused.
Although undoubtedly talented, the Switzerland international was inconsistent. But he proved to be one of the bargains of the summer and helped the Reds lift their sixth European Cup in Madrid.
However, after just one season, rumours have begun to spread suggesting Jurgen Klopp could cash in. Former side Inter Milan are reportedly interested, with West Ham United keen to reignite their interest from 12 months ago.
Fernando Llorente (Tottenham Hotspur)
On Tottenham’s incredible run to the Champions League final last season, few players contributed as much as the Spaniard.
At the age of 34, Llorente scored against Manchester City in the quarter-final and then helped set up Lucas Moura for his dramatic injury-time strike against Ajax in the semi-final.
Technically, he is out of contract after is deal expired on June 30. But the club have not announced it for some reason, something which has not deterred West Ham from expressing an interest in the veteran.
The Denmark international has started 25 of their 30 games and with his contract up in 2020, Premier League clubs could make a move this summer.
The 28-year-old will not be short of suitors at the end of the season. Partnering Billing for most of the campaign, Mooy has been a standout performer for Huddersfield.
He is a dead-ball specialist which could interest top-flight clubs.
Fulham – 19th, 17 points:
At about this time last year, Sessegnon was being tipped for a shock call-up to Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad after scoring 16 goals in Fulham’s promotion-winning season.
But the return to the top-flight has not gone as planned and the Whites are 13 points from safety and set for a swift return to the Championship.
Despite Sessegnon’s struggles in his debut Premier League season, clubs will no doubt be monitoring his situation in the forthcoming months.
Scoring goals in a relegated team does not do your chances any harm of staying in the Premier League. Last summer, Salomon Rondon joined Newcastle on loan from West Brom, who suffered relegation in the 2017/18 campaign.
Mitrovic is likely to be in demand after his ten goals and two assists this season.
Cardiff – 18th, 28 points:
The fact that Cardiff are just two points from safety proves how well they are doing. The Bluebirds were written off before the start of the season, but Neil Warnock has done a tremendous job.
One of their star performers has been goalkeeper Etheridge, who has played every minute of their Premier League campaign.
He has saved three penalties this term, including one in a shock 1-0 win at Leicester in December.
The Philippines international has certainly made a name for himself.
Burnley – 17th, 30 points:
Players don’t usually receive England call-ups while battling relegation with their club, but that is exactly what’s happened with Tarkowski.
The NBA All-Star game dominated the weekend’s sporting action in America this weekend as the best in the game went head-to-head at the Spectrum Center in North Carolina.
The team led by LeBron James was able to defeat Team Giannis 178-164 at the All-Star Weekend, which included musical performances from J-Cole and Meek Mill during half time as well.
One of the most exciting and fun-filled weekends in the sporting calendar, there was also the Slam Dunk Contest, the Skills Challenge and the Rising Stars game for fans to indulge in across the three-day event.
For English football fans, such an event can only be dreamed about as the Premier League have never even considered putting on an event of this magnitude.
The NBA teams are chosen by fans, players and members of the media voting to decide each starting line-up, with the Western Conference and the Eastern Conference squaring off.
However, the question has always been posed; how would the contest play out if a team from the north played a team from the south?
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Here at talkSPORT.com, we have assembled two teams from the north (and Midlands) and the south in a 4-4-2 formation and tried to spread the distribution of players as evenly as possible.
Scroll down to see who made the potential lineups and let us know who you think would win.
GK: David De Gea (Manchester United)
RB: Kyle Walker (Manchester City)
CB: James Tarkowski (Burnley)
CB: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
LB: Andrew Robertson (Liverpool)
RW: Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
CM: Ruben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
CM: Paul Pogba (Manchester United)
LW: Richarlison (Everton)
CF: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
CF: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
SUBS: Ederson (Manchester City), John Stones (Manchester City), Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton), David Silva (Manchester City), James Maddison (Leicester City), Leroy Sane (Manchester City), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)
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GK: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur)
RB: Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)
CB: Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion)
CB: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur)
LB: Charlie Daniels (Bournemouth)
RW: Heung-Min Son (Tottenham Hotspur)
CM: Lucas Torreira (Arsenal)
CM: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur)
LW: Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
CF: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)
CF: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
SUBS: Lukasz Fabianski (West Ham United), Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur), Felipe Anderson (West Ham United), Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotpsur), Callum Wilson (AFC Bournemouth), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)
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