England Euro 2020 squad: Who’s on the plane, who’s in contention, who could miss out?

Mark Critchley
The Independent

England will qualify for next summer’s European Championship with victory over the Czech Republic in Prague on Friday night.

Gareth Southgate’s side have won all four of their qualifying games in Group A and are all but assured of a place in the finals with another four games remaining.

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If qualification is secured, attentions will turn to Southgate’s squad for next summer’s tournament and which players can expect to take one of the 23 spots.

The England manager has made some surprise selections of late, leaving the likes of Kyle Walker, Dele Alli and Jesse Lingard out of his latest squad.

And Southgate has shown a preference towards giving young players a chance. Could there be any surprise selections come the deadline for squad submission on 2 June?

On the plane

Raheem Sterling

England’s best and most important player, Sterling’s international form has greatly improved over the last year. How easily it is forgotten he only had two international goals last September.

Jadon Sancho

The great new hope of English football, Sancho looks right at home alongside Sterling and Kane in attack. Still a teenager until March, he has made an excellent start to the new Bundesliga season at Borussia Dortmund.

Harry Kane

Not hitting the heights of a few years ago at Tottenham but still an important figure for his club and country. Southgate’s captain, no less. His new-found willingness to drop deep complements Sterling and Sancho’s direct running.

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Arguably the Premier League’s best full-back, the Liverpool youngster appears to have won the battle to be Southgate’s preferred right-back. His crossing and play-making ability is unmatched by the many rivals for his spot.

Harry Maguire

The only centre-back who can be confident of starting, despite Manchester United’s domestic struggles. Maguire’s set-piece threat and confidence on the ball are two big plus points for Southgate.

Jordan Pickford

Not always an assured presence between the posts and erratic at times, but remains relatively unchallenged as England’s No 1. Neither Pope nor Heaton offer the same range of distribution.

Ben Chilwell

Not a member of the 2018 World Cup squad but now Southgate’s preferred left-back. Chilwell has seamlessly adapted to international football in a short space of time and established himself as a regular starter.

Jordan Henderson

An oft-maligned figure but in a midfield short on true quality, the Liverpool captain offers leadership and experience. It is still unclear whether he is best deployed as a holding player or a shuttler.

In contention

Declan Rice

The answer to England’s holding midfield problem? The jury’s out. Rice has not entirely convinced in the role but appears to be Southgate’s first-choice for now, even his passing can be wayward.

Joe Gomez

A Southgate favourite but pushed out of the picture at Liverpool by Joel Matip’s form. Probably needs to win an Anfield starting place back in order to partner Maguire or Stones next summer.

Ross Barkley

His mercurial talents are appreciated by Southgate but needs to produce more for Chelsea if he wants to remain high up in the England pecking order. Still only 25, but yet to truly convince or establish himself as an international player after debuting in 2013.

Harry Winks

Offers a reliable short passing game that could bring stability in possession to the base of midfield and help make to the holding role his own. Winks needs to stay fit, though, and pick up his club form in order to fight off competition from Rice.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Joined United and picked up from where he left off at Crystal Palace. Defensively solid but does not offer as much going forward as Alexander-Arnold, Walker and Trippier, which could ultimately cost him.

John Stones

Probably one of Southgate’s two starting centre-halves but not a regular at club level, even before his recent injury. Confidence is an issue. Needs a run in City’s starting line-up once back to full fitness.

Marcus Rashford

Not part of England’s preferred attack, struggling for goals at club level with United and it is still unclear what his best position is. His place is under threat from Hudson-Odoi and other wide forwards who could emerge over the next few months.

Tammy Abraham

A revelation under Frank Lampard at Chelsea, reminiscent of Kane two or three years ago. If Abraham can maintain his current form throughout the season, he will surely earn a call-up and offer a more direct approach up top.

Mason Mount

Another youngster to benefit from Lampard’s appointment. Mount is highly-rated by Southgate and, though his creativity can be called into question, he will be seriously considered for a midfield that is lacking in goals.

Callum Hudson-Odoi

Perhaps the most talented of the Stamford Bridge crop, but his progress over the last year has been hampered by injury. Will be given opportunities to impress by Lampard and must take them.

Callum Wilson

Wilson has maintained last season’s excellent scoring form at Bournemouth but is one of three out-and-out No 9s fighting for two spots at most. Could lose out to Kane and Abraham unless he can offer versatility in a wide role.

Kieran Trippier

Appeared to have fallen well down the pecking order last year, but enjoying a new lease of life at Atletico Madrid. Has every chance of a spot if Southgate wants two attack-focused right-backs.

James Maddison

Yet to make his debut but in the squad once more after an impressive start to the season with Leicester City. Hopes of a tournament spot are perhaps only hindered by the fact that Southgate does not play with a pure No 10.

Michael Keane

Trusted in recent games by Southgate but his error against Kosovo raised familiar concerns about concentration. Everton’s problems may ultimately count against him unless their form turns around.

Danny Rose

Not the player he was several years ago but, for now, the next best left-back behind Chilwell. Vulnerable at club and international level if Sessegnon starts playing regularly once he has recovered from injury.

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Nick Pope

Now Burnley’s undisputed No 1, Pope is an impressive and consistent shot-stopper who can be confident of being one of Southgate’s three goalkeepers. Tends to kick long rather than play short, which counts against him for the first-choice spot.

Tyrone Mings

Named in his second successive squad, Mings will hope to make his international bow in the coming qualifiers. His 6f5in frame is imposing and form for Aston Villa has been good, but yet to be truly tested at an elite level.

Fikayo Tomori

Called up for the penultimate round of qualifiers, Tomori has looked a little raw but there is promise there too. He has the ability to put himself in the mix for the centre-half spots behind Maguire and Stones.

Tom Heaton

Left Burnley for guaranteed playing time and found it at Villa Park. A solid, dependable presence who leads the way for the third goalkeeping spot, despite injury leading him to withdraw on this occasion.

Fabian Delph

Another Southgate favourite, Delph was included in the most recent squad until withdrawing with an injury. It is difficult to see exactly what he offers that other, younger central midfielders do not.

Work to do

Kyle Walker

After being left out of the squad for a second consecutive time, the road back appears long. A return seems unlikely given the range of right-back options and he faces competition from Joao Cancelo at club level.

Dele Alli

Left out of the squad to play the Czech Republic and Bulgaria, Alli‘s star is fading fast. He has to rediscover the irresistible form he showed three years ago in order to revive a waning career.

Jesse Lingard

No league goal or assist since December means Lingard can have no complaints over losing his place. The form which led to a starting World Cup spot feels like a long time ago now and increasingly out of reach.

Eric Dier

Remember him? The scorer of the winning penalty against Columbia looked set to be England’s lynchpin for a decade at the last Euros but faces a struggle to fight his way back into Southgate’s plans.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

A serious knee injury denied him a World Cup spot and its after-effects may prevent an international return any time soon, unless he can play consistently and impress at Liverpool this season.

Luke Shaw

Another player whose injury problems have greatly affected his international prospects. Then again, even when he was fit he was overlooked for the Nations League finals, when Chilwell and Rose were preferred.

Dean Henderson

A young goalkeeper not short on confidence who could sneak in as third-choice if Sheffield United’s defensive performances. Called up for qualifiers against Czech Republic and Bulgaria after Heaton’s injury.

Jack Grealish

Grealish has taken well to the top flight and is doing all he can to impress with Villa but forced to remain patient for now. Yet to earn his first England cap despite turning the Republic of Ireland down four years ago.

Reece James

If given a run of first-team appearances at Chelsea, James could benefit from the absence of an outstanding backup behind Chilwell. The teenager has had a handful of games thus far. Lampard will surely give him chances to impress.

James Ward-Prowse

Set-piece ability is well-known and a worthwhile asset but what more can he offer? His Nations League finals call-up proved Southgate is an admirer, though much more needed if he is to become a squad regular.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek

Pencilled in to return from an Achilles problem in November, Loftus-Cheek has some catching up to do. Likely to be given time to rebuild form and fitness at Chelsea but faces stiff competition for a central midfield place.

Phil Foden

The future of England’s midfield but not its present, unless Pep Guardiola suddenly starts trusting his teenage prodigy with more minutes. Foden will have opportunities at City this season, though probably not enough to break into the senior squad internationally.

James Tarkowski

Fallen out of favour with Southgate despite his consistency at club level, paying the price for a couple of shaky international displays. Unlikely to win his place back as it stands, though Burnley have started the new season well.


Gareth Southgate on England vs Kosovo

Outside bets

Nathan Redmond

Part of the Nations League finals squad after a strong finish to last season, but has not hit the same heights at the start of the new campaign. Redmond may struggle to force his way into a crowded forward line.

Lewis Dunk

Last call-up came in the Nations League group stages against Croatia. Considered cover for the likes of Maguire, Stones and Gomez then, he now has the likes of Mings and Tomori ahead of him in the pecking order too.

Angus Gunn

Starting regularly at Southampton. Gunn could force his way past Heaton and Henderson to contest the third goalkeeping spot if he impresses at club level but Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side have made an indifferent start.

Demarai Gray

Called up for a friendly against Switzerland last year though yet to make his debut. Now on the fringes somewhat under Brendan Rodgers at Leicester. Harvey Barnes could potentially come into consideration.

Jack Butland

In dire need of a move to the top flight in order to remain in Southgate’s plans. Unlikely to earn either a transfer or a call-up while making errors and being rotated at a struggling second-tier Stoke City.

Adam Lallana

Southgate remains a fan of Lallana but he is unlikely to be given enough minutes at Liverpool this season to warrant selection. He will be 32-years-old by the time of the tournament and the focus has shifted towards younger players.

Ryan Sessegnon

Yet to make his Tottenham debut due to a hamstring injury. Recently aggravated the problem and is sidelined for an unspecified amount of time. Could offer another left-back option if he regains fitness and form.

Jamaal Lascelles

Yet to be considered by Southgate despite Newcastle supporters championing his cause. Unlikely to force his way in given the number of other central defensive options, though still young enough to be worth consideration.

Dominic Solanke

Made his international debut in the same game as Abraham in 2017 but has regressed in the years since. Needs regular minutes and – more importantly – goals at Bournemouth before he re-emerges on Southgate’s radar.

The Independent’s predicted Euro 2020 squad: Pickford, Pope, Heaton; Chilwell, Alexander-Arnold, Maguire, Stones, Gomez, Mings, Wan-Bissaka, Rose; Henderson, Winks, Rice, Alli, Maddison, Mount; Kane, Sterling, Sancho, Abraham, Hudson-Odoi, Rashford.

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