Picking England’s Euro 2020 Squad Early
Gareth Southgate has picked his England squad for the latest Euro 2020 qualifiers, but who will he ultimately select for the tournament itself? Dan Fitch gives his verdict on who will be in Southgate’s squad next summer.
Jordan Pickford is England’s number one, while Burnley’s Nick Pope and Aston Villa’s Tom Heaton provide a good mix of youth and experience as backup.
Sheffield United’s Dean Henderson stepped in for the injured Heaton last time out and appears to be ahead of Southampton’s Angus Gunn in the pecking order.
England have a lot of good right-backs to choose from. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kieran Trippier were named in the last squad. It would hardly be a disaster if Kyle Walker or Aaron Wan-Bissaka were named.
There are less options at left-back. Ben Chilwell is first choice, but Danny Rose has been in poor form at Spurs. If Luke Shaw can get himself fit and playing regularly for Manchester United, then he could get the nod.
At centre-back, Harry Maguire and John Stones seem the likeliest starters. Michael Keane and Fikayo Tomori have been selected in recent squads, but the versatility of Joe Gomez and Tyrone Mings, who can offer cover in the two full-back positions, should appeal to Southgate.
England have mainly been playing with a 4-3-3 formation and need to find the right mix of defensive cover, ability to recycle possession and attacking swagger.
Looking at the deeper midfield positions, Jordan Henderson is a definite choice. He looks set to be joined by Tottenham’s Harry Winks and West Ham’s Declan Rice, who provides Southgate with further cover as an emergency centre-back. Fabian Delph and Eric Dier are other possibilities.
Further forward, Southgate is spoilt for choice and much will depend on form going into the tournament and who takes their opportunity to impress on England duty. Ross Barkley has done just that of late and should be in Southgate’s squad.
Barkley’s Chelsea teammate Mason Mount has been given opportunities to impress by Southgate but has yet to truly convince. That leaves the door open for Leicester’s James Maddison and Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish. A problem with all three of these players is that they are being picked more often on the left of their respective club’s attacks, rather than in a central midfield position.
Another Chelsea player who could force his way in is Ruben Loftus-Cheek, should he regain fitness and reestablish himself. Liverpool’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has successfully done that for Liverpool and is a strong contender.
Dele Alli’s form is slowly returning at Spurs, but Jesse Lingard looks likely to miss out, despite the fact that he performs better for England than at Manchester United.
Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho are all assured of a place in Southgate’s squad.
That most likely leaves a place for one winger and a striker to provide cover for Kane. Callum Hudson-Odoi should be the wide player, leaving Tammy Abraham to fight it out with Callum Wilson.
Our Prediction – The England Squad for Euro 2020
Goalkeepers – Pickford, Pope, Heaton
Defenders – Alexander-Arnold, Trippier, Chilwell, Shaw, Maguire, Stones, Gomez, Mings
Midfielders – Rice, Henderson, Winks, Barkley, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alli
Forwards – Kane, Sterling, Rashford, Sancho, Hudson-Odoi, Abraham
- Euro 2020