10 Outsiders Who Could Make England's World Cup 2018 Squad

Could any of these players be on the plane to Russia?

Newcastle United's Jonjo Shelvey during the Barclays Premier League match at St James' Park, Newcastle.
Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

The World Cup is less than two months away and, as is customary, England fans all around the nation are preparing for the grand event with a mixture of apprehension, excitement, and dread. It's fair to say that the Three Lions aren't going into this tournament as favourites, but with players like Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Jamie Vardy having super seasons and even Jordan Henderson making it to a Champions League final, England fans may have a few extra reasons to be hopeful this year.

Some players have already booked their tickets to Russia through good performances and past successes, but there are still a few places arguably up for grabs on that all-important flight. New manager Gareth Southgate hasn't been afraid to take some risks since being appointed England boss and it's easy to imagine him springing a couple of surprises when he announces the final list of players set to jet off.

Here are a few players who might be in with an outside chance of earning a spot in the squad...

10. James Tarkowski (Burnley) 

Newcastle United's Jonjo Shelvey during the Barclays Premier League match at St James' Park, Newcastle.
By Press Association (OTRS ticket 2017100310009515) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

James Tarkowski has had a real breakout season in the Premier League. Fans knew he was good, but he's really stepped up over the last 9 months, helping brilliant Burnley to surely earn a spot in next season's Europa League, a feat that few football fans would have predicted before the season began.

An absolute rock in the heart of the Burnley defence, Tarkowski has been a big part of the team's successful season. A prime example of his defensive prowess came back in September of last year when he racked up a record-breaking 17 clearances in a single game against Crystal Palace.

A no-nonsense, old-fashioned defender in the vein of former English heroes, there's plenty of arguments to be made for Tarkowski's inclusion in the squad, but he did give away a contentious penalty against Italy in his sole appearance for the Three Lions in March, which might work against him when it comes time for Gareth Southgate to choose his final central defenders.


Mike Pedley hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.