With the Euros fast approaching, England manager Gareth Southgate will be thinking about who makes his 23-man squad.
Many talented youngsters are breaking through and even some senior players are having the best seasons of their careers. Southgate will have a selection headache – predicting the squad was hard enough – but it should give an idea as to who Southgate should pick and the reasons behind each decision.
Jordan Pickford – Everton
Pickford has been inconsistent since the World Cup. He is prone to an error but the thing he has over any other goalkeeper in contention is major tournament experience. He plays well for England and is good with the ball at his feet too. I think Southgate will make Pickford his number one again.
Nick Pope – Burnley
Pope has been very impressive this season and is arguably England’s best shot stopper. He should definitely make the squad but his lack of international experience may cost him the number-one shirt.
Dean Henderson – Manchester United
Henderson had a great season for Sheffield United last season, securing him a place in Manchester United’s squad. He has impressed when given game time, to the point where he has even dislodged David De Gea at times. At 23 years old he will be one for the future and should make the squad, having made his England debut last year.Embed from Getty Images
Trent Alexander-Arnold – Liverpool
Liverpool may have struggled this season, but Alexander-Arnold’s performances in the last few years should surely keep him in the England squad despite the strength in depth the Three Lions have at right back.
Kieran Trippier – Atletico Madrid
Trippier’s performances in Russia at the last World Cup made him one of Southgate’s favourites, to the extent that he has even been shoehorned in at left wing-back at times. He has improved a lot under Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid so it would be surprising if he fails to make the squad this summer.
Kyle Walker – Manchester City
Experience, quality and versatility. Walker’s role in the 2018 World Cup and Manchester City’s success should almost guarantee him a place in Southgate’s squad. His ability to play centre back as well as right back should give him an edge over other players in his position.
John Stones – Manchester City
Sticking with the Man City theme, the resurgence of John Stones has been nothing short of spectacular this season. Pep Guardiola’s side have only conceded 19 goals in 28 games so far this season and Stones has been influential. His international experience would also come in handy.
Eric Dier – Tottenham Hotspur
Dier divides opinion regarding his ability but his experience and versatility may be enough to secure a place in the final squad. Dier claimed he does not want to play in midfield anymore but I think if his ability to play there gets him on the plane, I am sure he will be willing to do a job there if necessary.
Tyrone Mings – Aston Villa
Mings may not be one of the best centre backs in contention when it comes to ability, but being the only naturally left-sided and left-footed centre back may be something that gives him an edge on the rest. Southgate has frequently picked Mings in his squads since Aston Villa’s promotion.
Harry Maguire – Manchester United
Maguire was a fan favourite at the World Cup, playing every game, and has remained a regular starter every since. His £85million move to Manchester United has come with a lot of scrutiny, but ignoring the price tag Maguire is undoubtedly a great centre back and should start for England in the Euros.
Ben Chilwell – Chelsea
Chilwell has struggled for minutes at Chelsea since the arrival of Thomas Tuchel but he has been a regular in Southgate’s side for a couple of years now and should remain in the squad this summer.
Luke Shaw – Manchester United
Shaw was called up to the 2014 World Cup at just 18 years old. A move to Manchester United followed, but injuries and club form has left Shaw with just eight England caps in nearly seven years. He is currently having the best season of his career so far and should make the squad given his form and previous major tournament experience.Embed from Getty Images
Declan Rice – West Ham United
The 22 year old has been great for West Ham this season, showing his leadership when captaining the side in Mark Noble’s absence. His form and versatility will almost certainly reward him with a place in the squad and even a starting spot.
Jordan Henderson – Liverpool
England’s vice-captain picked up a hamstring injury in the Merseyside Derby recently but he is expected back for the Euros. If fit, Henderson should be one of the first names on the team sheet.
James Ward-Prowse – Southampton
Southampton may have struggled since the turn of the year, but Ward-Prowse should still make the cut. He was a regular starter under Southgate in the Under 21’s. The Southampton captain is also brilliant at set pieces, an asset that could give him the edge over other midfielders in contention.
Mason Mount – Chelsea
Mount has been one of the first names on the England team sheet for Southgate. He can play in central midfield, as a number 10, and even on the wing. He’s impressed for Chelsea this season and should make the squad.
Phil Foden – Manchester City
Guardiola raised a lot of eyebrows when he claimed Foden was the most talented player he had seen in his career, but it is starting to make sense. Foden has been amazing for both club and country this season, his performance against Iceland would have shown Southgate that Foden will be key to England’s chances of going far this summer.
Jack Grealish – Aston Villa
Grealish has been one of the most exciting players in the Premier League for a couple of seasons now. Many were confused as to why it took so long for him to break into the England team but he looks cemented in the squad now.
Jadon Sancho – Borussia Dortmund
Sancho started the season slowly but since the turn of the year he has returned to the fine form that we are used to seeing from him in the Bundesliga. He can play on both wings and is a fantastic creative player so it would be very surprising if Sancho is not on the plane this summer.Embed from Getty Images
Raheem Sterling – Manchester City
Sterling may not be having his best season statistically but we all know how good he is. 58 caps at the age of 26, the winger is an England veteran at this point and will certainly make the squad.
Marcus Rashford – Manchester United
Rashford’s ability to play on the wing and centrally increases his chances of starting for England. He’s been a regular in the national team ever since his breakthrough at Manchester United in 2016.
Harry Kane – Tottenham Hotspur
If he is fit, he is in. Harry Kane is arguably the first name on the team sheet and looks set to remain captain too. 16 goals and 13 assists in the Premier League as of writing, Kane will be heading into the Euros in fine form.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin – Everton
Choosing a backup striker will be one of Southgate’s biggest dilemmas. Ings featured for England throughout 2020 but is in poor form, Bamford is having a great season but is uncapped. Calvert-Lewin is having another great season and has international experience. His aerial ability also gives England somewhat of a plan-B if necessary.
Notable absentees include: Reece James, Bukayo Saka, Conor Coady, Michael Keane, Joe Gomez, Kalvin Phillips, Jude Bellingham, James Maddison, Harvey Barnes, Callum Hudson-Odoi, and Danny Ings, among many others.
Southgate will have to make some very tough decisions when it comes to picking the squad, the options are some of the best England have had in years, Three Lions fans have a lot to be excited about.