England's centre-midfield options - ranked

There is plenty of talent in midfield for England
There is plenty of talent in midfield for England / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

Few international teams can rival England for strength in depth.

From front to back, Gareth Southgate is blessed with a ludicrous amount of different options with each squad announcement invariably greeted with shrieks of: "WHY ISN'T X PLAYER INCLUDED YOU PIZZA HUT ADVERT CLOWN!!!!!"

Centre-midfield is no different. Southgate has often been criticised for keeping it safe in the middle of the park but he has shown glimpses of more invention in recent times.

Here is where England's top midfield options sit in the pecking order.

10. Harvey Elliott

Harvey Elliott
Southgate is watching Elliott / Jonathan Moscrop/GettyImages

He hasn't progressed as quickly as some would have expected, but Harvey Elliott remains a massive prospect.

Southgate has been watching him closely for a while now, and could call him up if the 19-year-old establishes himself as one on Liverpool's best players.

9. Ruben Loftus-Cheek

Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Loftus-Cheek is playing more regularly at Chelsea / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Ruben Loftus-Cheek has always promised a lot more than he has delivered but that is largely down to injuries. He is fit right now though and is getting a bit more game time at Chelsea under Graham Potter.

It’ll take some consistent performances, but he could work his way back into the England set-up.

8. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall

Leicester City, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall
Dewsbury-Hall is an important presence in Leicester's midfield / Charlotte Tattersall/GettyImages

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall's rise to prominence in the 2021/22 season was remarkable.

Despite his promising loan spell at Luton Town during the 2020/21 campaign, no one could have predicted just how well he would fare in the top flight.

Leicester’s poor showing this season means his stock has dropped slightly, but he still consistently shows that he's a big talent.

7. Jacob Ramsey

Jacob Ramsey
Ramsey could get senior honours soon / Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages

A supreme technician whose positioning is extremely intelligent, Ramsey also plays with an aggression that makes him a nightmare for opponents. He will get a call-up sooner or later.

He has played well under both Steven Gerrard and Unai Emery so far and looks to be a special talent.

6. James Ward-Prowse

James Ward-Prowse
Southampton's star man / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

James Ward-Prowse has been on the periphery of England's starting XI for some time.

There is very little required of a midfielder that the Southampton skipper cannot do and his pinpoint set-piece delivery makes him stand out from the crowd.

All it will take is a few injuries and Ward-Prowse could find himself in the first team more regularly.

5. Kalvin Phillips

Kalvin Phillips
Phillips is returning from injury / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

Kalvin Phillips may not have made a huge impression since joining Manchester City but his work at Leeds United was deeply impressive and has not been forgotten by Gareth Southgate.

4. Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher
Gallagher is one for the future / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

Conor Gallagher showed flashes of his brilliance on loan at West Brom, but clicked into another gear at Crystal Palace last campaign - the midfield dynamo was the heartbeat of Patrick Vieira's young, exciting team.

Things haven't gone great for him at Chelsea this season, but that hasn't been entirely his fault with the whole team struggling, and there's little doubt that he's still quite the talent.

A promising international career seemingly awaits too.

3. Jordan Henderson

Jordan Henderson
Henderson scored at Euro 2020 / Ettore Ferrari - Pool/GettyImages

An expert in plugging holes and making those in front of him flourish, Jordan Henderson's experience and guile in the middle is a huge asset to England.

He hasn't been great for Liverpool this season but Southgate clearly thinks he brings more than just quality on the pitch and it’s hard to argue with that.

2. Jude Bellingham

Jude Bellingham
Bellingham is a Bundesliga star / Dean Mouhtaropoulos/GettyImages

Southgate has been patient in bedding Jude Bellingham into the England team but he now looks set to be a Three Lions stalwart for years to come.

Bellingham has been ripping up the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund for a few years now and is capable of playing as a deeper-lying, box-to-box or advanced midfielder.

Yeah, he really is that good.

1. Declan Rice

Declan Rice
Rice will finish on a shed-load of caps / Robin Jones/GettyImages

Declan Rice is top of this list and it's not close.

Rice seems a near certainty to wear the captain's armband when Harry Kane finally stops banging in goals and his decision to switch international allegiances was one of the most significant moments in the development of this Three Lions team.

Capable of dominating games with ease, he is only set to get better over the next few years.