England’s centre-forward options – ranked

There was a time when England possessed an absolute embarrassment of riches in the centre-forward department.

Nowadays, the pool of strikers at Gareth Southgate’s disposal isn’t as deep as it once was, but that’s not to say there aren’t some quality operators vying for a place in the Three Lions’ 2022 World Cup squad.

Let’s take a look at who’s out there.


Patrick Bamford

Bamford has been unlucky with injuries / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Bamford has dropped out of the England reckoning due to some rotten luck with injuries.

However, after such a fine 2020/21 season which saw him capped at senior international level for the first time, if he can stay fit the Leeds striker has a good shot of getting back into the squad in the future.

Danny Ings

Ings and Watkins play together at Villa / Matthew Ashton – AMA/GettyImages

Ings has finally shaken off some of that poor luck he had with injuries earlier in his career, paving out a good career with Southampton before joining Aston Villa.

His lack of goals at Villa Park has harmed his prospects and he needs to rediscover his scoring touch,

Frank Lampard, Dominic Calvert-Lewin

Calvert-Lewin is another England forward who’s struggled with injuries / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

Calvert-Lewin has been a regular in the Everton starting lineup for some time now but things eventually clicked for the former Barnsley man in 2020/21 as he bagged 16 Premier League goals.

Last season though, Everton were rubbish and DCL has been absent for most of it through injury. Better is needed if he wants to make the World Cup squad.

Callum Wilson

Wilson has also struggled to stay fit / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Had Wilson been fit for the majority of the last year, he’d probably be much higher here.

However, the former Bournemouth striker had a lengthy spell out in the second half of the campaign, so getting back into the England squad any time soon will be tough.

Ollie Watkins

Watkins has impressed at Villa / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

It seems ridiculous to think that just five years ago Watkins was playing in England’s fourth tier.

The Aston Villa man has moved through the divisions with ease and has regularly featured in Three Lions squads since.

Ivan Toney

Toney has risen up the rankings / Steve Bardens/GettyImages

Only six players have scored more Premier League goals last season than Toney (11), which for a newly-promoted player is excellent going.

He’s uncapped at international level so far, but that looks set to change in the near future.

Tammy Abraham

Abraham is enjoying his spell in Serie A / Giuseppe Bellini/GettyImages

Abraham wasn’t getting a fair crack at Chelsea with Thomas Tuchel in charge, so he took a punt and went to Roma – and what a punt it’s been.

He finished with 27 goals in all competitions last season and would have played a large role in March’s friendlies had he not pulled out with an injury.

He’s made up for that in the summer games though and is now England’s undisputed second choice.

Harry Kane

Kane is England’s best striker / Craig Mercer/MB Media/GettyImages

Now we get to the player so far clear of the rest of his competitors that it’s a little bit ridiculous.

Kane is the current England captain and is already eyeing up Wayne Rooney’s goalscoring record for the Three Lions. He’s only three behind and will want to have that record sewn up by the time he flies to Qatar – fit ankles pending, of course.

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