World Cupitis is a real and dangerous condition brought upon by a lack of tournament football.
The only way to get over it is by daydreaming about Qatar 2022. That can be difficult when you’re in a slump, so allow us to help.
With a new season to fight on Twitter about it’s time to hype up some English youngsters. But will they enough game time to appear on Gareth Southgate’s radar? Let’s discuss.
Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea & England Under-17)
If pre-season games counted for something then Hudson-Odoi would be a Ballon d’Or candidate and Hector Bellerin would be giving up football for a career in tap dancing, such was the runaround he received from the Chelsea winger.
Hudson-Odoi was tentatively used by Antonio Conte last season, appearing twice in the Premier League and a further two times in the FA Cup, but new boss Maurizio Sarri appears to be a big fan.
In Eden Hazard, Willian and Pedro the 17-year-old has plenty of competition, but his ability to embarrass defenders one-on-one is devastating and should be a valuable tool off the bench, if not from the start.
Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham & England Under-21)
left-back left winger Sessegnon scored 15 goals in the Championship last season sending scouts swimming down the Thames to catch a glimpse of his talents.
Anyone expecting a flashy winger whose strengths lie in beating players will be left confused.
Sessegnon, who’ll start on the left of a front three, regularly goes 20 minutes without making a meaningful play before popping up with a Thomas Muller-esque goal just when you least expect it.
Phil Foden (Man City & England Under-19)
If you dropped Foden into England’s first-team squad right now he wouldn’t look out of place.
The youngest recipient of a Premier League medal has that rare ability to find space where Albert Einstein has ruled there is none, using the calculator in his head to work angles and make the game look easy.
The problem isn’t Foden. The problem is Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane, Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez and City’s endless supply of cash.
Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal & England Under-18)
If there had been an Emirates Cup this year you can bet your bottom dollar Smith Rowe would have followed Jack Wilshere, Carlos Vela and Jeff Reine-Adelaide in sending Arsenal Twitter into a meltdown.
Instead the midfielder lit up the International Champions Cup, scoring against Atletico Madrid, before signing a new long-term contract.
A Europa League campaign, under the master of the tournament Unai Emery, should offer Smith Rowe a chance to impress, although Arsenal are stacked in that area of the pitch.
James Maddison (Leicester & England Under-21)
If there’s one area England are majorly lacking in at the moment it’s a centre-mid, which is what makes Maddison’s £20million move to Leicester so intriguing.
Clearly too good for the Championship, Maddison will now be testing himself against top opposition every week.
If he thrives, or even survives, against the onslaught of David Silvas and N’Golo Kantes then it won’t be long before he’s answering Southgate’s call.
Rhian Brewster (Liverpool & England Under-18)
The noises coming out of Liverpool are all overwhelmingly positive when it comes to Brewster.
Top scoring at the Under-17 World Cup put him on the global map, to the point Liverpool cancelled a friendly with Borussia Monchengladbach after the Bundesliga side were accused of tapping the striker up.
Danny Ings’ looming exit will see Brewster move one place up the pecking order but with Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi still at the club he’s still got a way to go.
Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund & England Under-19)
Sancho’s decision to leave City for Dortmund looks vindicated after cameos towards the end of last season left many calling for his World Cup inclusion.
Dortmund have never been afraid to blood youngsters, so you’d hope with a full pre-season campaign under his belt Sancho will be getting regular game time.
Expect many a Bundesliga ankle to disintegrate under close inspection from Dortmund’s no.7.
Jonathan Panzo (Monaco & England Under-18)
With the arrival of Sarri, Jorginho and, lest we forget, Robert Green, Panzo’s exit to Monaco went under the radar.
The 17-year-old defender has pedigree, having won two consecutive English Youth League titles with Chelsea and been part of England’s victorious Under-17 World Cup campaign.
Monaco have a young squad and a recent history of bringing through talent, so Panzo’s chances of playing regular football will definitely have improved now that he’s left Stamford Bridge.
Reo Griffiths (Lyon & England Under-17)
Another youngster to leave England for France, Griffiths helped himself to 33 goals for Spurs’ Under-18 side last season before running down his contract and moving to Lyon.
Lyon aren’t short of strikers, so he’ll have to be patient and wait his turn while learning off the likes of Nabil Fekir.
Time will tell whether it was wise to leave Mauricio Pochettino’s nurturing abilities for Ligue 1.