Eventually cruising their way to a 3-0 romp against African giants Senegal on Sunday night, England certainly punched their World Cup quarter-final ticket in some style.
Yet to taste a single defeat since arriving in Qatar last month, the Three Lions should find the mood in their camp at a real high as they prepare for a heavyweight showdown against defending champions France next weekend.
However, while Harry Kane might have opened his World Cup account on the fourth attempt against Senegal on Sunday, it has been Gareth Southgate’s youngsters who have stolen plenty of the headlines.
With the January transfer window set to reopen in under a months time, it appears that a few English superstars have been linked with a blockbuster move in the New Year.
While the Three Lions might have their sights set on claiming a first piece of international silverware since 1966 this month, we have taken a look at a handful of Southgate’s stars who could be on the move.
Jude Bellingham – Borussia Dortmund
While Jude Bellingham might have failed to bag his second World Cup strike against Senegal over the weekend, the 19-year-old put in a real Man of the Match display and finds his stock at an all-time high.
Cementing his spot as a crucial part of Southgate’s plans in Qatar, the ex-Birmingham starlet has started in all four of England’s World Cup appearances and has only continued to gain a string of plaudits.
Enjoying what has been a remarkable rise since making the move to Germany in July 2020, Bellingham has frequently been in possession of Dortmund’s captain’s armband this season as BVB booked their spot in the knockout stage of this year’s Champions League.
Notching nine goals for the German heavyweights since opening the 2022/23 campaign, it almost appears destined that Bellingham is set for a blockbuster move in 2023.
Along with continued links to Premier League giants such as Liverpool and Manchester City over recent weeks, it has also been suggested that Real Madrid are keen on agreeing a sensational deal in the New Year.
Declan Rice – West Ham
Although it might be Bellingham who has received the majority of praise from Qatar over the past fortnight, Declan Rice has become a real lynchpin in Southgate’s midfield.
Arguably one of the first names on Southgate’s team sheet and tipped as a future England captain down the road, it is no secret that the West Ham ace has plenty of Premier League admirers.
Stating last week that he is desperate to compete for major titles sooner rather than later, it is believed that many around east London have accepted that their skipper will be seeking a new challenge in 2023.
Soon to enter the final 24 months of his contract at the London Stadium, The Express have reported that the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City are all keeping tabs on Rice’s situation ahead of a potential swoop.
With no signs that the 23-year-old is willing to sign an extension with the Hammers, it is believed that David Moyes’ side value their midfield talisman in the region of £100million.
Jordan Pickford – Everton
Although England might have shown a string of defensive issues during their nightmare Nations League run earlier in the year, the Three Lions have managed to find some much-needed stability at the back.
Coming away from their 3-0 victory against Senegal on Sunday unscathed, Southgate’s squad have now recorded a clean sheet in each of their last three World Cup appearances in Qatar.
While Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale might have continued to impress on Premier League duties this season, it is Jordan Pickford who have firmly remained Southgate’s number one choice between the sticks.
Although Everton might once again find themselves at the heart of another top-flight relegation scrap this year, it appears that the one-time Sunderland goalkeeper is a man in demand come January.
With it reported last month that Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy could have one eye on a move away from Stamford Bridge after falling down the pecking order in west London, The Metro have suggested that Graham Potter has identified Pickford as a possible replacement.