Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez believes Jonjo Shelvey should warrant a place in the England national team after making progress with the Magpies over the past few seasons. The former Liverpool graduate had been under consideration for a potential call-up for the summer World Cup but unfortunately, he was not anywhere near the list of potentials for the tournament.

Speaking in a news conference, Benitez highlighted that Shelvey could be an option for Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate, who had bemoaned the lack of creativity during the recent internationals against Spain and Switzerland. He added that Shelvey may not be the perfect at the moment but he has the vision for different range of passing which may assist the national team.

Arsenal manager Unai Emery has revealed that he had spoken with Jack Wilshere for a period of just 15 minutes before the midfielder decided to pursue a fresh challenge. The England international had been in a contract standoff with the Gunners over the past year and he eventually left them for West Ham United on a free transfer after his deal expired.

Speaking ahead of the Hammers game, Emery said: “I spoke with him for 15 minutes here in Colney before he left.The first thing for me is I have respect for his career here. And then, he chooses what the best was for him in his future. It’s for that, on Saturday, I know that here, the supporters like him and have this respect also.I think there is a good reception for him here. Then we are going to play and we are going to think after that, for us to win. But, I [hope] the best for his career.”

England manager Gareth Southgate has heaped praised on Harry Kane for his leadership qualities during the World Cup. The 24-year-old was appointed as the Three Lions’ permanent captain ahead of the tournament in Russia and Southgate is pleased that the striker managed to lead by example with his performances.

He said: “I think he's done a fantastic job. He's not really captained his club as such so to show the leadership that he did throughout the tournament for us, I was really pleased and really impressed.He has the respect of the entire group. I think his mindset of what's possible and what's achievable, as he's shown with his own game, filters through to the other players. We always have to have that mentality of wanting to work all the time to get better and he has that mindset in abundance.”

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has urged the fans to get behind the England team despite their World Cup semi-final exit at the hands of Croatia. The Three Lions exceeded early expectations to reach the last four of the tournament but their journey was eventually halted by Croatia who beat them by a 2-1 scoreline.

Following the game, Sturridge stressed that the fans should avoid any negativity towards the Three Lions players after their impressive showing at the global tournament, he wrote on Twitter: “If anyone has anything negative to say about this England team or individuals keep your tweets to yourself. Nobody would have thoughts they'd be where they are or achieved what they have and they've made everyone proud so get behind them and show love not hate.”

England international Harry Kane believes he can end his silverware drought by guiding the Three Lions to World Cup success this summer. The 24-year-old was made the country’s captain ahead of the global tournament and he is now keen to lead from the front to end the Three Lions’ 52-year wait for a major trophy.

During an interview, Kane said that he has the opportunity to winning the World Cup this summer amid jokes regarding the Russian teapot which was presented to him in Repino. He quipped: “I’ve got a lot of scoring trophies in my career. I’d like to be sitting here with a big gold one [the World Cup] in a few weeks.”

England national team coach Gareth Southgate has clarified that Joe Hart’s exclusion from the World Cup was influenced by the impressive form of several other young shot-stoppers from the Premier League. The Manchester City goalkeeper has been the Three Lions’ number one in the last three major tournaments but he won’t be involved this time around with Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and uncapped Nick Pope picked ahead of him in the World Cup.

Speaking after the decision, Southgate said: “With Joe, we've got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? "We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season."

Bournemouth striker and England international Jermain Defoe believes Jack Wilshere should be a certain starter for the Three Lions for this summer’s World Cup finals in Russia. The Arsenal midfielder has overcome his injury concerns during the current campaign, and this recently earned him a much-anticipated call-up to the Three Lions’ squad.

BBC pundit Chris Sutton has slated Gareth Southgate’s midfield options for England ahead of this summer’s World Cup in Russia. The Three Lions have found themselves short of quality talent at the heart of the midfield, and this has seen Southgate pick the likes of Jake Livermore, who has had a below-par season with West Bromwich Albion.

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