Gareth Southgate is set to remain as England manager until at least 2024 but once the time comes for the former defender to depart his role, a surprise candidate could be in line to replace him.
That is the view of agent and CaughtOffside columnist Jon Smith, who believes Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper could be a surprise contender to succeed 52-year-old Southgate.
“Everybody knows how many players they’ve [Nottingham Forest] bought in, but take nothing away from the manager Steve Cooper,” Smith said in an exclusive interview.
“He is doing a fine job and has the team playing some very attractive football at times.
“He’s a major outsider at the moment, but if Forest keep improving, I wouldn’t be surprised if Cooper suddenly finds himself a candidate to succeed Gareth Southgate as the next England manager.”
Smith’s prediction probably won’t go down well with every England fan, with many likely to have their sights set on a more high-profile manager to replace Southgate, but Smith isn’t wrong.
Cooper not only guided the Reds back to the Premier League when all the odds were against them, but he has proven he can manage a large squad, including well-known stars, that has been put together on a moment’s notice.
Although Forest could still find themselves relegated come the end of the season, given their mid-table league position, the worst of their season seems to be behind them.
So, what do you think? – Do you think Cooper should be considered for the next England manager’s job? – Let us know in the comments.