England Under-19 coach Keith Downing believes Morgan Gibbs-White could make the next senior World Cup
England Under-19 coach Keith Downing believes Morgan Gibbs-White could make the senior squad for the next World Cup.
The 18-year-old has enjoyed a stellar year winning the Under-17 World Cup and Wolves’ young professional of the season award.
Former Wolves star Downing is looking forward to working with Gibbs-White in the Under-19 set-up and believes the Stafford-born midfielder has huge potential and could make the final cut in 2022.
Downing, 52, who made 191 Wolves appearances, said: “It is very exciting I might get to work with Morgan, when he moves up the age ranks. He has exceptional talent. I have seen a few times he can play in a variety of positions and have a real effect on the game. He is one of many, many young players that have huge potential.
“We are excited as a nation to have these exciting players and obviously we are getting some recognition now by winning some trophies. I think he could make the World Cup in 2022.”
Downing believes it is important Gibbs-White is given his chance on the pitch to continue his development.
Gibbs-White racked up his most first team appearances this season, making 12 in total with three of those in the starting XI.
He said: “Morgan has huge potential and I’m sure Wolves understand that. Hopefully like every youngster he gets the opportunity to play at senior level. Obviously the quicker they get that and the quicker they learn those experiences, the better it is for them. Morgan will have aspirations not just to play at Under-19 football but maybe get into Under-21 and things like that.”
Downing praised England manager Gareth Southgate for handing opportunities to youngsters in the World Cup squad. He said it bodes well for Gibbs-White as Southgate has established a pathway for young players to earn a call-up - so long as they play well. “It is exciting times for the youngsters to be English and to play in the England team,” said Downing.