Gareth Southgate has announced his final England squad for Euro 2020 which includes teenage duo Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham in the 26 man squad, as well as the much-discussed Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold. The England manager has named his final squad for Euro 2020 and been forced to trim seven players from the 33 he picked last week.
Surprise call-ups Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White and Ben Godfrey all miss out as Harry Maguire is judged to be fit enough to be included despite missing the Europa League final. All four talented right-backs are in, as Trent Alexander-Arnold is included, as well as Reece James, who put in a phenomenal display in the Champions League final for Chelsea.
Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker have had brilliant seasons, winning La Liga and the Premier League respectively, while they also boast flexibility to play more than one position, and the benefit of having played a major part in England’s run to the World Cup semi-finals three years ago. In fact, Alexander-Arnold is the only one of those four right-backs who didn’t win a major trophy this season.
Elsewhere, James Ward-Prowse misses out in midfield as Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice and the returning Jordan Henderson are preferred alongside the mercurially talented Bellingham, who makes the final 26, despite his tender age of 17. Experience at the 2018 World Cup, and a storming end to the season wasn’t enough for Jesse Lingard to win his place in the squad as the likes of Jadon Sancho, Jack Grealish and Saka are included while Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood misses out through injury.
The worries Southgate had about those players returning from injury have been assessed and club captains Henderson and Maguire have both been included. Their leadership along the spine of the team, along with Three Lions captain Harry Kane this summer will be vital if England are to succeed this summer. Unlike back in 1998, there was no dramatic omissions this time around.
If Maguire isn’t fit enough to start the tournament, it is likely that the England boss will revert back to the back three that served him so well in Russia. For that reason, Walker’s inclusion, alongside Conor Coady, Tyrone Mings and John Stones makes all the more sense. Luke Shaw and Ben Chilwell will share left-back duties but Saka’s inclusion also gives flexible options at wing-back or further forward.
Rice is almost certain to start in midfield with Henderson given more time to prove his fitness while Champions League winner Mason Mount is also likely to be included in the starting XI v Croatia. Grealish is included having recovered from his injury issues, with Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Dominic Calvert-Lewin all present while Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins just misses out.
England face Austria tomorrow night before taking on Romania on Sunday - ahead of their curtain raiser against Croatia on 13 June.
26 Man England Squad For Euro 2020