England manager Roy Hodgson believes the nation’s young stars can blossom into world-class players as he continues to re-build his squad.
Hodgson has given nine players their England debuts since the 2014 World Cup – with six of those 24-years-old or younger.
In England’s last game – a 2-0 win over France on Tuesday – the average age of the starting XI was just over 24 years, which is the lowest since Hodgson took over the job in 2012.
And the 68-year-old is confident the emerging talent will develop into world class stars.
“If you look at the players we had building up to and during the World Cup and you look at the players now – there’s not many survivors,” Hodgson said.
“We are building a team hopefully a good future for English football.
“Even if we had lost against France I would still have said it’s been a good year and a half since the World Cup. We have made a lot of strides forward.
“There are a lot of young players at the moment who if they do get the experience and keep maturing, keep developing in their clubs, I think a lot of them can be hopeful of similar careers to the careers of the great players who have retired since I took over, people like John Terry, Ashley Cole, Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard.
“They’ve gone. The only one remaining from that squad really is Wayne Rooney and he has got a lot of young players around him.”