'Our biggest threat', Shearer, Ferdinand and Lineker backing as Anthony Gordon England verdict given

If Newcastle United's Anthony Gordon thought last summer was exciting then he could be in for something special this year. The Magpies forward has enjoyed a superb season in black-and-white stripes, starring for Eddie Howe's side and taking his game to the next level.

His form has earned a call-up to Gareth Southgate's England squad for this summer's European Championship, with Gordon potentially in line to start the opening match against Serbia on Sunday. It comes just 12 months after he was named player of the tournament as England's U21s won the Under-21 European Championship - and Gordon has not looked back since.

Southgate, of course, had a plethora of attacking talent at his disposal, with Gordon competing with players such as Bukayo Saka, Cole Palmer and Jarrod Bowen for a role on the flanks. However, he has plenty of support from the experts, with United goal hero Alan Shearer among those picking him in their England XIs.

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Here are what the big names are saying about Gordon's potential role this summer and why he gets the nod over some big-name competition.

Alan Shearer

Newcastle legend Shearer went with Gordon in a discussion on the Rest is Football podcast with host Gary Lineker.

"I think because of his work rate the way he's able to get back and help the full-back out as well as doing his stuff in forward positions," Shearer explained. "He's just been brilliant for Newcastle this season so he would be starting on the left for me."

Gary Lineker

"I'm going with Anthony Gordon on the left. I think he's been absolutely fantastic. He's dangerous and can cause problems."

Rio Ferdinand

Former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand is looking for Gordon to stretch games.

"I want Foden to be more of a linker and I want Bellingham running on," he said. "I don’t want you coming to the ball, keep running on beyond Kane who is going to come deep as well. Saka on the right and I’d start Gordon on the left because I want people that can go beyond. I don’t want everyone going to the ball."

Jeff Stelling

TalkSPORT host and former Soccer Saturday anchor Jeff Stelling felt Gordon was England's biggest threat in the final friendly against Iceland.

“I am going to pick Palmer just ahead of Bukayo Saka," Stelling said. "Saka has had a bit of a knock, not quite back to 100% I think, Palmer showed enough against Iceland. Cole Palmer, Harry Kane and Anthony Gordon, who I thought was our biggest threat for most part of the night. He has been in brilliant form, and everybody is going to batter me because there is no Phil Foden. But Foden, four goals in 34 games for England. I think Gareth Southgate and his staff are scratching their heads as to how to get the best out of Phil Foden for England.”

Michael Owen

Former Newcastle and England forward Michael Owen explained to TNT Sports that it was Gordon's pace which clinched his decision.

"I'd put Palmer as my right-sider," he said. "I'm going to put Anthony Gordon as my left-sider. And Harry Kane up front. Throughout the tournament you could switch. You could bring Saka in on the right and put Palmer on the left if you have to.

"I just have to find a place for Cole Palmer. I have to find a place for Phil Foden. And I really want pace on the left hand side."

Gary Neville

Not everyone was picking Gordon, however, with former Manchester United and England star Gary Neville opting for Phil Foden on the left, although he remains a big fan of the Newcastle wideman.

"He can’t keep all the people happy all of the time," Neville told the Overlap. "And Southgate has shown in the past that he doesn’t do popularity contest. Last night’s 3-0 win over Bosnia probably just makes the issues even more confusing.

"Kane at centre forward is, of course, a given. Bellingham presumably plays behind him as a No.10 in a midfield three, with Saka off the right, where he always plays for Arsenal and England. Yet Foden is the Player of the Year and has to start. His favourite position would probably be Bellingham’s central role and, after that, he would probably prefer cutting in from the right, like Saka.

"England have three brilliant left-footed wide players, including Palmer, but everyone wants to be an inverted winger these days. So Foden is the one who will probably fill that left-sided role, which he does do at times for City."