Adrian Durham believes Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice are guaranteed to start for England at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, provided they qualify.
The Three Lions need two more wins from their remaining qualifying games to reach the Arab nation before next Christmas, starting with Hungary on Tuesday – live from Wembley on talkSPORT.
Bellingham was purposely left out of the squad by manager Gareth Southgate over fears he could ‘burnout’ having featured prominently for Borussia Dortmund since joining from Birmingham City last summer.
However, the 18-year-old has more than proved he belongs at international level having helped the German side to the quarter-finals of the Champions League last season.
The midfielder rejected Manchester United to move to BVB in the hope of playing more football, with his decision to vindicated by earning a place in the squad for Euro 2020.
Likewise, West Ham vice-captain Rice is one of the first names on the team sheet for Southgate and played a pivotal role in helping his country reach the final at Wembley in July
His defensive nous is incredibly honed thanks to his formative years as a central defender, yet the 22-year-old has developed into a fine driving midfielder from deep for both club and country by adding goals to his game.
On that basis, Durham believes Southgate has the unenviable task of selecting one other player to line up alongside the dynamic duo for the Three Lions if, as expected, they reach the finals in Qatar.
“I do understand, but I was disappointed Bellingham wasn’t in the squad because I really want to watch him play football.
“I want to watch him play football in an England shirt because he is brilliant and I think this time next year, he will be a mainstay in the England midfield.
“I’ll say this; I think England’s three-man midfield will consists of Bellingham, Rice and one other.
“Now is that one other Mount or is it Foden or is it somebody else? If it is Mount, does that mean Foden is in the front three with Kane and Grealish?
“How are we going to make up that midfield three and front three?”
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