Harry Kane has been one of the standout English players this year.
England are one of a handful of countries to have won the FIFA World Cup. The Three Lions haven’t won a major title since their finest hour in 1966. However, they have had many fine players turn out for them over the years.
That especially holds true for the current generation. England reached the 2018 FIFA World Cup semi-finals. Three years later, Gareth Southgate’s men made the summit clash at Euro 2020, going down to Italy in a penalty shootout in the final.
Most of England’s top stars ply their trade in the Premier League, widely considered the most competitive football league in the world. Some English players have performed exceedingly well this year for club and country.
On that note, here’s a look at the five best English players as 2021 draws to a close:
#5 Phil Foden (Manchester City/England)
Manchester City vs Leeds United – Premier League
Phil Foden is widely regarded as one of the best young English players in the game at the moment.
Still only 21, Foden has made almost 100 Premier League appearances, winning the competition three times. The Manchester City star enjoyed a breakout campaign last season. Foden bagged nine goals and five assists as Pep Guardiola’s men won their third league title in four years.
Continuing in much the same vein this campaign, the 21-year-old attacking midfielder is already up to four goals and as many league assists. One of these strikes was City’s 500th in the Premier League under their legendary manager.
Having made his England debut only last year, Foden played ten games for the Three Lions in 2021. That includes three games in their run to the Euro 2020 final this summer and seven in their successful FIFA World Cup 2022 qualification campaign. Foden has bagged a goal and five assists in these games.
#4 Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur/England)
Tottenham Hotspur vs Liverpool – Premier League
Harry Kane is one of the most prolific active goalscorers in the English top flight at the moment.
With nearly 170 strikes in the Premier League – all for Tottenham Hotspur – Kane had a breakout campaign in the competition last season. He won his third Golden Boot award, scoring 23 goals, even as Spurs floundered to finish a lowly seventh. Kane also won the competition’s playmaker award, laying out a league-leading 14 assists to teammates.
The 28-year-old also enjoyed a fabulous year with England. He scored 16 goals, four of them in The Three Lions’ Euro 2020 campaign, as England qualified for the FIFA World Cup next year.
Kane has scored nine times this season, but only two of those strikes have come in the league. That’s an anomaly the Englishman is expected to address as the campaign wears on.
#3 Reece James (Chelsea/England)
Chelsea vs Leeds United – Premier League
Reece James is one of the best young English players in the game at the moment. The Chelsea right-back has had an impressive year for club and country.
With four goals and five assists in the league, the 22-year-old has played a key role in Chelsea’s quest to win their first Premier League title in five years. He has also scored in the Champions League this season for the holders.
James was part of the England team that made the Euro 2020 final. He also featured prominently in the Three Lions’ successful FIFA World Cup 2022 campaign, contributing two assists.
#2 Declan Rice (West Ham/England)
Arsenal vs West Ham United – Premier League
Declan Rice is one of the best young defensive midfielders in the game at the moment, especially in the English top flight.
Still only 22, Rice has already made nearly 150 appearances in the Premier League, all for West Ham United. He featured in all seven games at Euro 2020, particularly impressing in the final against Italy, which England lost on penalties.
Courted by many top clubs, Rice is on the cusp of a big-money move, which could happen as early as next summer.
#1 Mason Mount (Chelsea/England)
Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Chelsea – Premier League
Mason Mount has arguably been the standout English player for club and country. Unlike Rice, the 22-year-old won a major title this year, bagging two goals and as many assists in Chelsea’s unexpected Champions League triumph.
The Chelsea academy graduate has contributed seven goals and six assists in the Premier League this season. Mount is yet to score in four games for the Champions League holders this campaign, though.
The 2021 Ballon d’Or nominee has also sizzled for England this year, bagging a goal and four assists across Euro 2020 and FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers. Mount is set to play a key role for club and country in the years to come.