Will the next Martin Peters please stand up..


England 1966 World Cup winner Martin Peters famously only made his international debut in the May before the tournament kicked off in July. His goal scoring performance in the final was just his eighth appearance for his country.

Whilst I wouldn’t say at the moment that I was confident that England could reclaim the crown of World Cup holders come Brazil this time next year, I thought it would be interesting to see if I could identify three potential ‘Martin Peters’ midfielders yet to play for our national side but possibly capable of making a late run into Roy Hodgson’s squad.


First is Adam Lallana, Southampton’s captain and successor to the Matt Le Tissier crown for loyalty beyond the call of duty.

The talented 25-year-old has long been linked with a move to a club worthy of his ability but he has remained steadfast even when the club descended into League One.

Successive promotions at last gave the St Alban’s born playmaker the taste of the top flight that he deserved.

He hasn’t disappointed, his skilful performances have demonstrated that he is more than capable of holding his own at this level.

If he can begin to get close to his goal scoring tally in the Championship and continue his ratio of assists, I have no doubt that he will progress to the national team and his loyalty to Southampton despite his new five year contract might be tested again to the full.


Next is Everton’s Ross Barkley, this is despite the surprising recent revelation that the Scouser is also eligible for Nigeria. The 6 ft 2 in midfielder is the latest great hope off the Goodison production line.

After loan stints during the season at Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds he returned to Everton and caught the eye with some standout performances toward the end of the season notably against North London duo Spurs and Arsenal.

Hopefully the technically gifted youngster won’t have been too badly tainted by association with England’s dismal showing in the Under-20 World Cup in Turkey.

New Toffees boss Roberto Martinez will surely look to utilise the hugely skilled teenager and if he can nail down a place in the side then I’m sure It would just be a matter of time before he is elevated into the national squad.


Finally West Brom’s George Thorne, this 20-year-old may currently only be known to those of a Baggies disposition but had he not ruptured his ACL in January I feel he would already be recognised by a much wider audience.

Having made his debut for the West Midlands club at sixteen he has since spent periods on loan at Portsmouth and Peterborough.

He made his first Premier League start last season in the fixture against Manchester United at Old Trafford, he then played in the next seven games before his season ending injury.

Like Barkley he is 6 ft 2 in, and his strong running, dominant performances in the centre of midfield have marked him out as one to watch.

He has represented England at all levels up to Under-19 and when he returns from his injury I foresee him becoming a regular member of the West Brom first team and possibly making a late push for a surprise World Cup inclusion.


Allen Whyte