Soccer

Best-rated England XI from European leagues: Jadon Sancho and Reiss Nelson feature

Wayne Rooney has dominated the headlines ahead of the upcoming international break with the former Everton and Manchester United striker set to win his 120th senior cap when England take on the USA at Wembley later this month.

It has distracted from who will actually make Gareth Southgate’s squad when he makes the announcement on Thursday.

Here, using their unique rating system, WhoScored.com formulate their best-rated England XI from Europe’s top five leagues…

Joe Hart – Burnley (6.76 rating)

It remains to be seen whether Hart will make an England return in the foreseeable future, but he is at least making a decent stab of earning a recall.

Burnley are facing the most shots per game (21) in the Premier League this season and it has kept the 31-year-old busy, with Hart making more saves (49) than any other goalkeeper in England’s top tier this term. It has seen the Clarets ace land a WhoScored.com rating of 6.76, the best of all English goalkeepers in Europe’s top five leagues.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka – Crystal Palace (7.32 rating)

While Crystal Palace are faltering, young right-back Wan-Bissaka continues to excel. It’s surely only a matter of time before the 20-year-old earns his first senior England cap as he goes from strength to strength with each passing week.

Not only is his WhoScored.com rating (7.32) better than any other English right-back in Europe, it’s the best of all right-backs in the Premier League. Indeed, he has made more tackles (44) than any other player aged 21-and-under in Europe’s top five leagues this season, reinforcing a statistically calculated WhoScored.com strength of ‘tackling’.

Michael Keane – Everton (7.32 rating)

Following an indifferent start to life at Everton following his big money move to Goodison Park, Keane has begun to live up to expectations under Marco Silva. The former Burnley man has a WhoScored.com rating of 7.32 for the Toffees this season and an England recall would be deserving for the 25-year-old.

5.9 aerial duels won per game is the second most of defenders in the Premier League this season as he continues to impress for an Everton side looking to crack the top six.

Harry Maguire – Leicester (7.33 rating)

Like Wan-Bissaka, Maguire’s WhoScored.com rating of 7.33 isn’t just the best of all English centre-backs, but better than every other central defender in the Premier League this season.

The Leicester star has two league goals to his name this term, while additional returns of 1.5 tackles, 1.7 interceptions and 5.1 clearances per game has seen Maguire live up to expectations after a memorable World Cup.

Ben Chilwell – Leicester (7.10 rating)

Firmly first choice left-back at the King Power Stadium, Chilwell is the second of three Leicester players to make the cut in this English XI. The 21-year-old was called up to the senior squad last month and a return would not be undeserving for the young Foxes ace.

Only Wan-Bissaka (23) has completed more dribbles than Chilwell (22) of Premier League defenders this season with the his performances yielding a WhoScored.com rating of 7.10.

Jadon Sancho – Borussia Dortmund (7.21 rating)

Only Suso (8) has provided more assists than Sancho (6) in Europe’s top five leagues, despite the teenager registering just 455 minutes of league action for Borussia Dortmund this season. The 18-year-old earned his first senior call up last month and he’s expected to make the grade in Southgate’s squad once more.

A return of 3.8 key passes per 90 – ranking among the top five players to have made 10 or more appearances in Europe’s top five leagues – has helped return a WhoScored.com rating of 7.21 as Sancho continues to shine in the Bundesliga.

Reiss Nelson – Hoffenheim (7.53 rating)

Following in Sancho’s footsteps is Nelson, who elected to move to Germany after penning a new deal with Arsenal. Hoffenheim were the welcome recipients of the teenager’s services, who lured Nelson to the Bundesliga on a season-long loan.

Only Kylian Mbappe (11) has scored more goals than the 18-year-old (5) of all teenagers in Europe’s top five leagues this season. He pips Sancho (4) to second spot, and his good form in Germany’s top tier has landed Nelson a WhoScored.com rating of 7.53.

James Maddison – Leicester (7.28 rating)

Rounding off the Leicester contingent is Maddison, whose good form was rewarded, like Sancho, with an England call up last month. The Foxes ace will hope to keep his spot in the England setup as Leicester continue to benefit from his fine form in the final third.

26 key passes is more than any other English player in the Premier League, with Maddison having a direct hand in a goal in five of his 11 top-flight outings this term, scoring three and assisting two for Claude Puel’s side. His transfer looks all the more the coup with each outing in a Foxes shirt.

Raheem Sterling – Manchester City (8.01 rating)

Sterling’s WhoScored.com rating (8.01) is better than any other Premier League player this season as he became the third player to put in a perfect 10 performance in England’s top tier this term with his match winning display in Manchester City’s 6-1 win over Southampton on Sunday.

No player has a direct hand in more goals than Sterling (11 – 6 goals, 5 assists) in the Premier League this season as the 23-year-old enjoys his best campaign at the Etihad Stadium to date.

Harry Kane – Tottenham (7.26 rating)

Tottenham’s saviour on Tuesday night as he netted a late brace to keep their Champions League dreams alive, Kane has six goals to his name in England’s top tier this term as he looks to retain his spot as England’s number one striker.

While perhaps not yet at his best this season, the 25-year-old has still gained a WhoScored.com rating of 7.26 for Mauricio Pochettino’s title-chasing Tottenham side.

Callum Wilson – Bournemouth (7.25 rating)

Trailing Kane as the best-rated English forward, with his Bournemouth performances securing him a WhoScored.com rating of 7.25, Wilson has been excellent for the high-flying Cherries.

He too has six league goals to his name, while only teammate Ryan Fraser (12) has created more clear-cut goalscoring chances than the 26-year-old (7) in the Premier League. After overcoming two serious knee injuries, Wilson has spared no minute in making up for lost time and international recognition would be deserving this month.

Honourable mention… Wayne Rooney – DC United (7.46 rating)

With Rooney the main focus, he warrants an honourable mention here. His move to MLS kick-started DC United’s playoff push, only for the Washington side to fall at the first hurdle, crashing out on penalties at the hands of Columbus Crew.

Nevertheless, returns of 12 goals and six assists from 21 league outings helped Rooney gain a WhoScored.com rating of 7.46 in Major League Soccer after his summer move to America.

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