Having been taken straight to hospital after injuring his shoulder in the first half of Manchester United’s 3-1 victory over Hull, doubts were immediately cast over Phil Jones’ availability for England at the World Cup.
The initial signs for the versatile defender was that a dislocation had been avoided, although there is still a risk of ligament damage that would rule out his participation in Brazil.
England are 21/10 to win their World Cup Group D opener with Italy and below are three players that will be hoping that Jones’ injury works to their advantage and brings about a change to their summer holiday plans.
Roy Hodgson showed at Euro 2012 that he wasn’t afraid to hand a squad place to a rookie when a late replacement was needed in his defence, as Liverpool’s Martin Kelly was drafted in when Gary Cahill fractured his jaw.
Despite only making 21 Premier League appearances, Stones has shown he can play in central defence, at right-back or also fit into a back three.
His ability to stride out of defence in possession is also reminiscent of a young Rio Ferdinand, while he is strong in the air and solid in the tackle.
Based over the season, if there is one defender that has been the model of consistency, then it is hard to look beyond Davies.
Steven Caulker may be the obvious candidate to be Hodgson’s fifth choice central defender after Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Jones and Chris Smalling, but Davies has won more tackles, made more interceptions and passed more successfully than the Cardiff skipper.
Helping his team reach the FA Cup final is also a fine achievement.
One of the big positives with Jones is his ability to play in either the centre or the right side of the defence and should Hodgson want a player that most mirrors this versatility, Richards is the prime candidate.
Richards would also bring more big-game experience than the majority of other defensive options at Hodgson’s disposal.