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EFL plays its part in Gareth Southgate's England World Cup squad

16 November 2022

Last week, England boss Gareth Southgate announced the squad that will be heading to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup later this month, and the majority of the Three Lions team have made their way through the EFL to get to where they are today.

An impressive 23 of the 26-man squad either came through an EFL academy, have played in the EFL (via the loan system) or made their professional debut in EFL competition.

A number of players have come through the ranks at EFL Academies, including Harry Maguire, Kyle Walker and Aaron Ramsdale - a trio produced by Sheffield United. 

Forwards James Maddison and Callum Wilson were made in Coventry City. Kalvin Phillips grew up at his boyhood Club Leeds United and came through their youth setup, while John Stones graduated from hometown team Barnsley's Academy.

Nick Pope began his career with Charlton Athletic, Luke Shaw came through at Southampton, Raheem Sterling spent time at Queens Park Rangers, and Ben White - who started at Brighton & Hove Albion - spent time on loan in Sky Bet League Two (Newport County), League One (Peterborough United) and the Championship (Leeds United) before going on to feature regularly in the Premier League.  

There were Carabao Cup debuts for Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jude Bellingham - who came through the system at Birmingham City as a child. Although Phil Foden's first appearance didn't come in the Cup, he did net his first professional goal in the competition.

Meanwhile, Jordan Pickford, Kieran Trippier, Conor Coady Harry Kane, Jordan Henderson, Mason Mount and Jack Grealish all enjoyed loan spells in the EFL during the early stages of their playing careers. 

Pickford made his league debut for Burton Albion, Kane got his first taste of first-team football with Leyton Orient, Coady had a season with Sheffield United and Henderson went to Coventry, and Grealish headed out to Notts County.

The EFL Trophy has also played an important role. Declan Rice, Conor Gallagher, Mason Mount and Bukayo Saka all made their debuts in the competition against senior opposition before going on to play top tier football.

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