No Stone Unturned In Southgate's England Squad

England manager Gareth Southgate is continuing to weigh up all of the available options ahead of Russia 2018.

He was spotted in the stands of the John Smith’s Stadium last Sunday to watch Huddersfield Town gain a comprehensive victory against Bournemouth and run the rule over a number of players qualified for the national team.

Although easy to portray as the 'safe' choice for the Football Association following the sacking of Sam Allardyce, Southgate’s history within the FA as England Under-21 manager gives him a unique position as national team boss of being familiar with the vast majority of those players with Premier League clubs who are eligible for him to pick.

It’s fair to assume that the media would not be able to catch him out by asking about a player from one of the perceived lesser lights of the top-flight as they may have been able to do with Sven-Goran Eriksson or Fabio Capello.

And although Steve McClaren and Roy Hodgson were clearly up-to-date with the Premier League there remained a distinction between their role and what was going on elsewhere within the FA.

Southgate has a foot in both camps and the more fluid nature of the progression between the various age group teams was shown in its ultimate nature by the squad he named for the friendlies against Germany and Brazil late last year.

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