Legend believes that black stars key to England’s future

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AWESOME FOURSOME: Raheem Sterling (back row, left), Danny Welbeck (back row, right), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (left) and Daniel Sturridge are the future of the England team, according to Michael Owen

LIVERPOOL LEGEND Michael Owen has revealed his admiration for young England Lions Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling and Danny Welbeck citing the trio as the “future of this England team” with their speed being highlighted as an especially important attribute at International level.

Owen said: ‘”The three of them are incredibly quick; I think you need speed in attacking areas nowadays especially at the highest level.”

The progression of Sturridge over the past couple seasons has been a joy to behold and Owen, who scored 158 goals in 297 top flight fixtures, is well placed to judge the Liverpool striker, describing him as developing into a “phenomenal striker.

“He’s developed into a phenomenal striker, he has a great goalscoring record, he’s quick, he has got a good touch, and he along with Suarez last year – and the help of Sterling – was one of the best attacking forces in the world of football.”

Another young striker who England fans hope can have a similar trajectory to Sturridge in terms of producing on a consistent basis is Danny Welbeck.

Welbeck’s recent move to Arsenal has been a point of much discussion and Owen feels it is a good move for both player and club.

‘’I think at £16m he was cheap. I think Arsenal got the best end of the deal and I think it will be a good buy. He’s young and English with his best years ahead. With a good attitude I think he will be a good signing for Arsenal.

Owen also mentioned Ross Barkley along with Raheem Sterling as two players that are “potentially world class’’ and he believes the England team should be built around these young players.

“Sterling and Barkley have potentially got the ability to become world class, they are both young with time on their side, so maybe we could build a team around those and Welbeck with Sturridge, it is quite an exciting attacking line up now.

“Going forward there is certainly a lot of room for optimism in our national team at the moment. We have got a few players there that could go onto be seriously top players and their young as well, so we can enjoy them for years to come.”

Owen, who is fifth on the all time goalscorer’s list for England with 40 goals, also agrees with England manager Roy Hodgdson’s policy of giving new players a chance in the national team set up.

Citing the example Aston Villa’s Fabian Delph, it was clear that Owen was extremely impressed with the midfielder’s international debut against Switzerland last month. Owen confessed: “He looks international class already.”

“Fabian Delph coming in the other day raised a lot of eyebrows, coming straight into the team, people were probably questioning the decision, but he has come in and performed really well. I’m more than up for Hodgson giving new players opportunities.”

The latest young England Lion to get his chance will be Southampton right-back Nathaniel Clyne who won his first England call-up for the Euro 2016 qualifiers against San Marino and Estonia on October 2.

The Three Lions play San Marino at Wembley on October 9 before travelling to face Estonia three days later.

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