Mail Sport’s experts evaluate England’s wealth of world-class talent after their commanding performance against Italy, leaving fans ecstatic ahead of Euro 2024.

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England booked their place at Euro 2024 in breathtaking style on Tuesday night as they came from behind to beat Italy 3-1 at Wembley thanks to two goals from Harry Kane and a superb breakaway strike from Marcus Rashford.  

Jude Bellingham, who is boasting a record of 10 goals from 10 games at Real Madrid this season, dazzled the Wembley crowd with a stunning performance, while Phil Foden and Declan Rice also impressed.

The dominant victory has England fans purring at thought of Euro 2024 next summer, with Gareth Southgate’s side itching to go one better after falling agonisingly short of glory against the Azzurri in 2020.

But how many ‘world class’ players can England claim to have? Although the term is subjective, it’s hard not to heap praise on the Three Lions and their abilities after Tuesday’s electric performance at Wembley.

Putting it to the test, Mail Sport asked their experts to name the world class players within Southgate’s ranks ahead of next summer’s tournament in Germany. 

Harry Kane’s brace helped England come from behind to beat Italy 3-1 at Wembley on Tuesday

With two games to spare, Gareth Southgate's unbeaten side have now qualified for Euro 2024

With two games to spare, Gareth Southgate’s unbeaten side have now qualified for Euro 2024

 

CHRIS SUTTON

1. Harry Kane

2. Jude Bellingham

3. Kyle Walker

Bellingham? Obviously. Kane? Absolutely. 

Walker? He is a right back at the peak of his powers for club and country. You would struggle to argue against any of these three being an immediate upgrade for another team, and so they are the ones I will bestow with the ‘world class’ tag.

Jude Bellingham put in a masterful display, winning a penalty and setting up England's second

Jude Bellingham put in a masterful display, winning a penalty and setting up England’s second

 

KIERAN GILL

1. Harry Kane

2. Jude Bellingham

3. John Stones

4. Kyle Walker

We have Kane: the star striker. Bellingham: the midfielder who knows exactly where to be and when, as if he has a crystal ball tucked into his sock. 

Stones: the defender who steps seamlessly into midfield, with that incomparable performance in the last Champions League final. Walker: the right back who would start for any side. Declan Rice does not quite make it a quintet. Not yet.

 

TOM COLLOMOSSE

1. Harry Kane

2. Jude Bellingham

3. Kyle Walker

A world-class player is someone who would be named in the starting XI for any team in the world in at least one position. 

As talented as Phil Foden, Declan Rice, John Stones and Bukayo Saka are, they are not No1 in their spots. Kane and Bellingham clearly fall into that category – Bellingham could probably play in two or three roles – while Walker also deserves his spot. 

Any full-back who can subdue Kylian Mbappe in a World Cup quarter-final merits a place in a World XI, and Walker did exactly that in Qatar last winter.

Kyle Walker is one of the best right-backs on the planet and thus many view him as 'world class'

Kyle Walker is one of the best right-backs on the planet and thus many view him as ‘world class’

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IAN HERBERT

1. Harry Kane

2. Jude Bellingham

If a world-class player is one who you would be confident will perform well against any team or individual opponent on the planet, then Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham are the only two who fit that category. 

Declan Rice is a player capable of putting in a world-class performance when it matters. On his day, he is a defensive midfield shield in the very top bracket and by next summer’s tournament he will have benefited from a season under the pressure that the Arsenal jersey brings, which will improve him. As yet, he hasn’t consistently delivered as the world’s best do. 

Marcus Rashford and Phil Foden are very good players but world class? Not for me. Though that’s an extremely fluid term

 

ADRIAN KAJUMBA

1. Harry Kane

2. Jude Bellingham

Kane and Bellingham are there now while there are others who have had spells of world class form or world class potential like Kyle Walker, John Stones, Declan Rice, Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford.

John Stones could also claim to be 'world class' having guided Man City to the Treble last term

John Stones could also claim to be ‘world class’ having guided Man City to the Treble last term

 

CRAIG HOPE

1. Harry Kane

2. Jude Bellingham

If we define world class by getting in a world XI – or any team in the world – then only Kane and Bellingham apply. 

There could be a place on the bench for Declan Rice, and never underestimate just how good a footballer Kieran Trippier really is.

IT’S ALL KICKING OFF! 

It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football, launching with a preview show today and every week this season.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube , Apple Music and Spotify

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