A potentially title winning team could be on the way to Rio from Great Britain…
With reports that England’s FA are set to go ahead with a Team GB entry to the 2016 Rio Olympics, we look at a prospective XI of players available for selection.
To qualify for the tournament, players must be born after January 1st 1993 but three extra players are permitted for selection.
Here’s the best team available based on their season ratings out of 10, according to statisticians.
GK: Robert Green (West Ham) – 6.77
With not many goalkeepers in England eligible, Jak Alnwick of Newcastle is the only Premier League man who would qualify automatically, though his stand-in performances have hardly been the best.
Robert Green beats Joe Hart with his performances for relegation threatened QPR.
RB: Calum Chambers – 6.99
It’s been a tough move for Chambers since his move from Southampton in the summer but the benefits of it have already bared fruit with the teenager receiving an England call-up after his first few months in north London..
He will be 21 in 2016; more wise, more experienced and likely more developed.
CB: John Stones – 7.04
It’s really a toss up between him and Chambers as to who takes the right back role and centre-back position, although Stones has mastered his role at right back for Everton in a breakthrough season.
He’s the best rating so far this season of any young defender and will no doubt have developed into an even more robust and experienced presence at the back in time for Brazil.
CB: James Tomkins – 7.51
Having Olympic experience should work in Tomkins favour as should his continued excellence for the Hammers.
Eric Dier is another possibility and wouldn’t required another strike on the over-age quota but his relative inexperience makes him a difficult choice to justify.
LB: Ben Davies – 6.92
A hotly contested position with the likes of Luke Shaw trying to break into the side but another revelation at full-back this season has been Spurs’ Ben Davies.
And the Welshman has a better rating than his Manchester United competitor. He even has more experience having already made his debut for Wales as a teenager in 2012.
CM: Ross Barkley – 6.85
Second season syndrome for Barkley who broke into the Everton first team last term that earned him a place in England’s World Cup squad, but this has certainly be a campaign to forget so far with poor form and injury.
However, he has put enough effort in to have a passable rating to qualify for a return to Brazil in 2016.
CM: James Ward-Prowse – 6.83
Tipped for a bright future but yet to make a complete, outstanding breakthrough, Ward-Prowse recently penned a five-and-a-half year deal with Southampton, proving their faith in the youngster.
He’s yet to make his full international debut but his six assists this season show what an eye for a pass he has and will be a valuable asset in Rio.
RM: Gareth Bale – 7.72
Surely has to be one of the over-age additions as he’s one of the few truly world-class products to come from the home nations in recent years.
Ten goals and five assists in La Liga show his efforts have not been in vain this season despite the boo-boys at Real, and surely someone of Bale’s zeal should be given the opportunity to shine at an international tournament.
CAM: Raheem Sterling – 7.38
It would be an unpopular decision on Merseyside to send Sterling back to Brazil especially after, you’d expect, a slogging season with Liverpool and a spell at the 2016 European Championships.
But it would be a priceless addition to the squad given the kind of form he’s shown this season at the pinnacle of the Liverpool attack.
LM: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 7.20
It’s been a season of progression for Chamberlain if he has yet to replicate that in the goals and assists tally.
He will surely too be a part of Euro 2016 for England so don’t tell Arsene Wenger he could be coming to Brazil.
So adaptable he can be played in the base of midfield or high on the wings, Chamberlain’s versatility surely makes him a necessity.
ST: Harry Kane – 7.40
The revelation of the season, Kane’s 24 goals boast of a future so successful for club and country.
He’s another who has yet to be given his Three Lions debut that will surely have changed by 2016. And given his meteoric rise in this campaign it’s scary to think how good he could be in Rio.