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England Hopefuls: Swansea City

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Premier League sensation in their debut season, League Cup winner last year, now relegation contenders. It's been a memorable few years for the Welsh outfit, but is there any English talent down in Wales to represent England for the World Cup?

Jonjo checking whether he already washed his hand after going number two
Jonjo checking whether he already washed his hand after going number two

Back in 2001 the club was sold for £1 and was still playing in the old third division. Ten years later, they won promotion to the Premier League, winning the League Cup the very next season, playing an attractive brand of football. This season hasn't exactly gone as planned, with the club replacing their manager, Michael Laudrup, midway through the season. They are currently in a relegation dogfight hoping to secure another stay in Premier League.

Let's take a look at some English player in Swansea's squad, hoping to represent England in this year's World Cup:

Leon Britton, midfielder, 31

Leon Britton has been a long-serving player for the Welsh side, having joined Swansea since 2003 (he did briefly left for Sheffield United in summer of 2010, but rejoined Swansea six months later). The diminutive midfielder (he's 1.68 m tall) is one half of Swansea's midfield duo along with Joe Allen as the Welsh side take Premier League by storm with their crisp, short-passing game. His been limited to only 17 appearances this season, but that didn't stop him from doing what he does best, passing the ball. His 91% pass completion rate is in the top 10 among other Premier League players.

On the plane or on the beach? Beach. With his age and limited appearances this season, plus Swansea's struggle in the relegation fight, it's unlikely that Britton will ever suit up for The Three Lions.

Jonjo Shelvey, midfielder, 22

Shelvey got his breakthrough in football playing for Charlton Athletic back in the Championship and League One. After an extended spell with the first team in 2009/10, Shelvey moved to Liverpool in summer of 2010. He spent three seasons with the Anflield side, winning the League Cup in 2011/12. Last summer, he moved to Swansea, in search of more regular football. Shelvey has played well this season, in 24 appearances he has scored 5 goals and created 32 chances.

On the plane or on the beach? Shelvey is definitely one feeling hard done by Roy Hodgson's decision not to give him the call-up against Denmark. He's playing regularly, scoring goals, and creating chances, which makes his inclusion a bit puzzling. Though this doesn't mean the door is shut completely for him, it doesn't seem that he'll be going to Brazil either.

Nathan Dyer, winger, 26

There was a time when I was sure that Nathan Dyer and Scott Sinclair would terrorize other countries defense for England. Though that prediction is by no means dead, it definitely seems a lot less likely to happen. His stats for the season reads 28 games played in the league and Europa League plus 5 goals and 2 assists (all in the league). He was injured earlier this year, but thankfully nothing too serious.

On the plane or on the beach? The competition for England's wing spot is very competitive, with the likes of Raheem Sterling, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Andros Townsend (among others) likely to get the nod, it seems that Dyer will be watching the World Cup on telly instead.

Wayne Routledge, winger, 29

The winger who started his career with Crystal Palace was once considered as an exciting young talent, however his career hasn't exactly pan out the way he would've like. Swansea City is his 9th club after leaving Crystal Palace back in 2005. Routledge has been ever present for Swansea this season, making a total of 32 appearances with 2 goals and 3 assists to his name. He plays mostly on the left side of the wing utilizing his speed to get behind defenses.

On the plane or on the beach? Though Routledge is playing regularly for Swansea, his performance has not exactly set the league on fire. At 29, he's pretty much a finished article and would be very hard and unlikely for him to represent England at the senior level, let alone going to the World Cup.

Kyle Bartley, defender, 22

Once thought to be Arsenal's future defender, Bartley is still looking to established himself as Swansea's first-choice defender. The 22-year old centre back was supposed to spend the entirety of the season on loan with Birmingham City, but has been recalled by Swansea in late January. He played 19 times for The Blues scoring 5 goals (which would've put him in joint-second tied with Dyer and Shelvey, who has also scored 5 goals).

On the plane or on the beach? Kyle is relatively young at 22, at this moment he needs a regular playing time in order to develop his talent. He won't be near the squad for the World Cup, but a couple of years down the line with regular football he could be contending for an England spot.

Leroy Lita, forward, 29

I'd be honest with you, he looks like a great player during his year with the U21 a few years back. Now, at 29, and having only played 125 minutes of football between October to March with a single goal to his name, he'll probably be looking for a new club in the Championship come summer.

On the plane or on the beach? On the plane.. heading to the beach!


Garry Monk, 35, defender manager interim manager

His official title is a player-manager, so I'm really looking forward to him taking matter into his own hand (in all literal sense) by substituting himself into the game.