Sunderland stars among six Championship talents primed for England duty at Euro ’28

Euro 2024 is quickly approaching, but these six Championship teenagers might be in position to play for England on home soil in 2028.

Jobe Bellingham (Sunderland)

“His elder sibling has already left a significant mark on the international stage, and if all unfolds as intended, Jude and Jobe will soon find themselves playing alongside each other for the English national team.

Jobe will always carry the somewhat unfair burden of being compared to his extraordinary older brother, the Real Madrid sensation who has rapidly established himself as one of the finest midfielders globally.


Jobe Bellingham: Sunderland sign Birmingham City midfielder for undisclosed  fee - BBC Sport


While one brother is capturing the world’s attention with outstanding performances for Real Madrid and England, the other is making a noticeable impact on a more limited scale with Sunderland in the Championship.

Acquired for approximately £3 million from Birmingham City last summer, the 18-year-old has shone brightly at Sunderland, who currently sit in sixth place in the Championship and have had a strong start to the season.

The level of excitement surrounding Jobe may not be as fervent as it was when Jude was emerging at Birmingham, but this teenager still ranks among the most promising young talents in the Football League. His current stint at Sunderland should serve as a stepping stone toward even greater achievements in the future.”

Emerging English Football Talents Poised for Bright Futures

Taylor Harwood-Bellis (Southampton)

Gareth Southgate is facing a conundrum in the center-back position, with a less-than-peak Harry Maguire partnering the exceptional John Stones. With both Maguire and Stones likely reaching their mid-30s by Euro 2028, prospects like Marc Guehi, Fikayo Tomori, or Levi Colwill might succeed them in the post-Southgate era after the upcoming tournament.

However, Taylor Harwood-Bellis is also gearing up for an enduring stint as a fully-fledged England international. Despite missing out on a Premier League loan this season, the Manchester City youngster, who impressed during his time at Burnley last season, has found a valuable opportunity to refine his skills in the Championship with Southampton. Still just 21 years old, Harwood-Bellis is destined for the Premier League next season, whether with Manchester City or elsewhere, and his journey toward a senior England role is set to gain momentum.

Jack Clarke (Sunderland)

Former Tottenham Hotspur player Jack Clarke, at a mere 22 years of age, has made a remarkable resurgence after a lackluster period in North London. The ex-Leeds United academy talent has been delivering stellar performances for Sunderland in the Championship for over a year, contributing to 38 goals in his last 58 league appearances.

How much could Sunderland ace Jack Clarke be worth in January? - Sports  Illustrated Sunderland Nation

Tottenham invested around £10 million in Clarke in 2019, and it’s expected to take a substantial fee for Premier League clubs to lure him away from Sunderland in January. Brighton and Crystal Palace, among others, are reportedly vying for his signature, recognizing that he has more than proven himself deserving of a second chance in the Premier League.

While England boasts abundant talent in wide positions, Clarke’s potential sets him apart, and his resilience in overcoming early career setbacks demonstrates his mental fortitude for the leap to the top flight when the opportunity arises.

Leif Davis (Ipswich Town)

Leeds United released Leif Davis for a mere £1 million last year, and judging by his performance for Ipswich Town in the Championship, Leeds must be regretting that decision. The full-back has provided six assists in just 10 games this season, contributing to Ipswich’s remarkable success in the Championship.

Last season, he played a part in an astounding 17 goals, helping Ipswich secure promotion from League One in 2022/23. It appears he’s on a path to produce impressive statistics in the second tier once again. While Luke Shaw, Ben Chilwell, and Kieran Trippier currently dominate the left-back position for England, the latter two often grapple with injuries, and Davis, with his consistent form at Ipswich under Kieran McKenna, is a strong contender for a call-up.

Archie Gray (Leeds United)

Although Bellingham’s impressive performance in the Championship at the age of 18 deserves attention, 17-year-old Archie Gray’s emergence this season is arguably even more remarkable. The central midfielder earned accolades as he rose through the ranks at Elland Road and has benefited greatly from Leeds United’s summer overhaul, which followed their relegation.

Gray, the great-nephew of club legend Eddie Gray, has formed a solid partnership with former Chelsea player Ethan Ampadu. Premier League clubs are already expressing interest in him, but staying with Leeds United for a full season as a Championship regular would be more valuable for his long-term development.

Hayden Hackney (Middlesbrough)

Michael Carrick’s managerial stint at Middlesbrough has been a rollercoaster ride. After last year’s playoff failure and a poor start to the current season, they are back on track with five consecutive wins in the Championship. Amongst their attacking talents, Hayden Hackney, a 21-year-old defensive midfielder, was arguably Middlesbrough’s standout performer last season, and his good form has continued into the new campaign.

Hackney has broken into the England U21 set-up, and if he continues to progress at this pace, he is likely to earn more opportunities at the international level. England doesn’t have an abundance of options in the defensive midfield position, and although Hackney may not be at the same level as the £45 million signing Kalvin Phillips yet, at least he’s playing regularly week in and week out.

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