England fans have something to cheer as stats show Gareth Southgate’s young Lions should peak at World Cup 2026

ENGLAND may have crashed out of this year’s World Cup, but many fans are still optimistic about the future.

The Three Lions’ World Cup campaign drew to a close following a 2-1 defeat to reigning champions France on Saturday.

England crashed out of the World Cup on SaturdayRichard Pelham / The Sun

The Three Lions suffered a 2-1 defeat to FranceRichard Pelham / The Sun

Aurelien Tchouameni broke the deadlock in the first half with a superb long-range strike before Harry Kane levelled the score from the penalty spot.

Olivier Giroud then went on to fire France back into the lead, but England struggled to get back into the game after Kane failed to convert his second spot kick with just six minutes to go in normal time.

Despite the result, England put on a positive display with Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham creating numerous problems for Didier Deschamps’ side.

And the performance has left many England fans optimistic about the future, especially as the majority of players in Gareth Southgate‘s squad are yet to hit their prime.

The likes of Saka and Bellingham as well as Phil Foden, Declan Rice, Mason Mount, Conor Gallagher and Trent Alexander-Arnold are all under the age of 25, so they will likely still be on top form come Euro 2024 and the 2026 World Cup in Canada, Mexico and the United States.

Players who failed to make the England squad for Qatar, such as Reece James and Jadon Sancho, will also be in their prime by the time the next major tournament comes around.

Although the future looks bright for the Three Lions, Southgate has refused to confirm if he will continue as manager.

Following Saturday’s defeat, he said: “I think whenever I’ve finished these tournaments I’ve needed time to make correct decisions because emotionally you go through so many different feelings and the energy that it takes through these tournaments is enormous.


“I want to make the right decision, whenever that is, for the team, for England, for the FA, and I’ve got to be sure whatever the decision I take is the right one.

“I think it’s right to take a bit of time to do that because I know in the past how my feelings have fluctuated in the immediate aftermath of tournaments.”

Southgate’s current England contract expires in December 2024.

The Three Lions kick off their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign in March.