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Saints star one of three potential Gerrard successors for England

| 20.06.2014

As the nation reels from another World Cup-shaped kick to the nether regions, England’s captain will surely be contemplating a future devoid of tournament football after more than a decade of loyal service and ultimately frustration.

At 34, Steven Gerrard still has unfinished business with Liverpool – who are priced up at 4/11 to defeat Southampton in their opening Premier League fixture – as he chases that elusive title.

This will surely mean Gerrard steps away from Three Lions duty following Brazil, while Roy Hodgson is left with pinning down a true defensive midfield anchor to replace the Reds skipper in time for Euro 2016.

Below are three possible candidates:

Jack Cork, 24 – Southampton

An under-heralded cog in the Southampton wheel, Cork has plenty to offer in a deep-lying midfield role. A player very much in the Saints’ slick-passing mould, the Londoner can keep play ticking over and is tenacious in the tackle. According to WhoScored.com Cork completes an average of 2.3 tackles per game in the Premier League.

Fabian Delph, 24 – Aston Villa

A beacon of light in an otherwise gloomy campaign for Aston Villa, the fans’ player of the year put in many eye-catching displays for his club this season. Like Cork, tenacity and energy are two of his best attributes, though he’s arguably the most skillful of the trio too. One criticism is that his range of passing is nowhere near that of Gerrard’s.

Jack Rodwell, 23 – Manchester City

The chances are the boy touted as a future England captain when coming through at Everton will end his ill-fated Manchester City career this summer and move on. If he becomes a Premier League regular again somewhere else (and stays injury-free) then Rodwell is arguably the best all-round option. His range of passing is on a higher plateau than the other candidates.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.