Former England manager Kevin Keegan has spoken out against the talent in the England national team set up, revealing only a handful of players excite him sporadically.
Delivering what can best be described as a backhanded compliment, former Newcastle boss Keegan claimed that Dele Alli is the only current English player who excites him.
He said, as quoted by the Times: “I wouldn’t say any of the England players really excite me. Dele Alli sometimes. He does things.
Whilst the original statement does seem a little harsh on the other players in Gareth Southgate’s squad, Keegan added: “Harry Kane is exciting in a different way. He reminds me a lot of Alan Shearer. But England need someone with a bit of magic like [Luka] Modric or [Eden] Hazard.”
Speaking at the Cheltenham Literary Festival, Keegan further lamented England’s lack of Hazard-like quality.
He added: “If someone gave me a football club tomorrow and said you can sign any one player in the world, I’d take Eden Hazard. He’s the next Lionel Messi. He’s almost at that level already. He has this incredible vision and the really great players have a trick.”
Keegan may have a point – England don’t quite have a player on Eden Hazard’s level in terms of creativity – but his words do seem a little harsh when you consider how well England did in the World Cup this year.
And when you add into the equation the new talent Gareth Southgate has included in the most recent Three Lions squad, it seems Keegan ought to be a bit more optimistic. The likes of Ryan Maddison, Mason Mount, and Jadon Sancho are all set for potential debuts during this international break.
In particular, Sancho has been in incredible form this season playing for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga. In the German top division, Sancho has six assists to his name and one goal in just 214 minutes of game time.
Most goals in the Bundesliga this season: Paco Alcácer (6)
Most assists in the Bundesliga this season: Jadon Sancho (6)
Combined minutes: 296
Combined starts: 1
Absolutely bonkers. 浪 pic.twitter.com/RaarAlP3Jm
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) 6 October 2018
If Sancho can translate that sort of form onto the international stage, Keegan might yet find true excitement in the shape of a current England player.