Gareth Southgate set his sights on trying to win the next World Cup by picking an exciting young England squad that contains the first player born in the new millennium.
On a day when FA chief executive Martin Glenn marked Southgate’s signature on a new £12million four-year deal by declaring that England ‘will win a World Cup at some point in the not too distant future’, the national boss handed first call-ups to Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, Mason Mount, currently on loan from Chelsea at Derby, and Leicester’s James Maddison.
Sancho is just 18 and Southgate said: ‘He has real presence with the way he plays, tremendous pace, he shows good decision making with his selection of passes.
‘In the team he’s playing in, he has big responsibility without the ball so his progress — even since the last camp — has been very high.’
On England’s mission now that Southgate has signed his new deal, Glenn added: ‘Look, you can’t guarantee you are going to win a tournament.
‘But we have great ambition, we will win a World Cup, we are going to win a Euros — you can’t say when because it’s so competitive. But we are going to give ourselves the best possible chance with the players we’ve got.’
Southgate then explained why he extended his contract. He said:
‘You can have great relationships with your clubs, and I did with mine, but emotionally the national team has always been the biggest thing for me.
‘It’s what I always wanted to do. As a kid, my one ambition was to play for England. And it just means that bit more because of the size of what you effect. I just think it’s a brilliant honour.’