The Sportsman's 26-Man England Squad For Euro 2020

It isn't up to us, but if it was, here is who would be in the England squad this summer
17:30, 24 May 2021

Alright then, here we go. Gareth Southgate will pick his final squad for Euro 2020 tomorrow afternoon and has been afforded the luxury of picking 26 players, rather than the usual 23. Get your pitchforks at the ready, here is The Sportsman’s England squad for Euro 2020.

Goalkeepers (3)

Jordan Pickford

Dean Henderson

Sam Johnstone

Fairly straightforward this one. Nick Pope would have been included in the three, but his surgery has ruled him out so West Brom’s Johnstone, off the back of an impressive season, takes his place, just ahead of Aaron Ramsdale. Manchester United’s Henderson will compete with Pickford for the number one spot, but given his upturn in form in 2021 and his England penalty heroics under Southgate, we are more than happy to see the England manager keep faith with his number one, who as of yet, hasn’t put a foot wrong for his country. 

Centre-Backs (4)

Harry Maguire

John Stones

Ben Godfrey

Tyrone Mings

Two of these centre-back choices are as easy as they come. Maguire and Stones will start together at Euro 2020 and have been England’s best centre-backs by some margin this season. The other two spots are well up for grabs, but Ben Godfrey has stood out for Everton this term. 

At just 23-years-old, he offers pace that his defensive rivals do not have, while his reading of the game is improving month by month. Fikayo Tomori has impressed at Milan, Conor Coady is consistent at Wolves, and Ezri Konsa has done well, but it is the Aston Villa vice-captain who gets the nod here. 

Mings offers cover for Maguire in this side, should the United man get injured. He would play on the left of a back three or four and offers that left-footed option in the centre of defence. Unlike the uncapped Tomori and Konsa, he also boasts eight caps to his name - double the amount Coady has. A tough choice. 

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Full-Backs (5)

Luke Shaw

Ben Chilwell

Kieran Trippier

Kyle Walker

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Let’s get the left-back position out the way before we jump into the juicy part of the squad. Luke Shaw has been Engand’s best left-back this season and Ben Chilwell isn’t far behind him. Job done. Right-back is a whole different story.

The three that we have picked, offer the perfect blend of tournament experience, defensive capability, and attacking flair. Kieran Trippier has had the best season of his life, winning the title with Atletico Madrid, has a deadly set piece delivery and has performed for England under Southgate as a wing-back on the biggest stage. He’s a good character and the manager knows he can trust him, which is vital in terms of squad harmony.

The same can be said of Manchester City’s title winner Kyle Walker. With the ability to play in a back three as he did in 2018, or as part of a back four, as I think we will see this summer, he has made huge progress in his game under Guardiola. Both of these options have experience, the flexibility to play in a back five and are in top form.

So that just leaves one spot left. Reece James is a fantastic player, and Southgate understandably rates him, but Trent Alexander-Arnold just gets the nod ahead of him in our squad. When England need a goal in the knockout stage, he just might be the man to create it, from a starting spot, or off the bench. James will feel the unluckiest to be left out in the entire squad, but there are only so many right-backs you can take. 

Alexander Arnoldjpg

Central Midfielders (4)

Jordan Henderson 

Declan Rice

Kalvin Phillips

Jude Bellingham

England’s central midfield was the area that just let them down in that World Cup semi-final. This time around, things have to change. Jordan Henderson may not be fit right now, but if there is a chance he can be by the start of the tournament, he has to be included. England are a better side with him in the middle of the park.

Elsewhere, Declan Rice is a shoo-in after a remarkable season and Kalvin Phillips has done more than enough to earn himself a place on the plane. They could be partnered together to provide protection to the back four, or Jude Bellingham could be afforded a starting spot. At just 17-years-old, it is easy to take him as one for the future, but he has proved at the highest level of club football that he is more than good enough to play for England already. James Ward-Prowse is the one to miss out, as Trippier or Trent are on the pitch to take set pieces, and Southampton have been woeful for months. 

Attacking midfielders (3)

Jack Grealish

Phil Foden

Mason Mount

Not sure there is much explanation needed here! All certainties to go to Euro 2020, with Foden and Mount likely to start. All three have been absolutely fabulous this year, with only Grealish’s recent injury issues putting a halt to his staggering season. When we lacked creativity in 2018, what a fabulously exciting trio of English footballers we now have at our disposal. James Maddison just misses out, through no real fault of his own. 

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Forwards (7)

Harry Kane

Dominic Calvert-Lewin

Ollie Watkins

Jadon Sancho

Marcus Rashford

Raheem Sterling

Mason Greenwood

Captain Kane, City’s Sterling and United forward Rashford are all guaranteed a spot in the squad, although only the Golden Boot winner is certain to start. Rashford and Sterling could provide brilliant options off the bench with their pace up against tiring defenders, but it all depends on the opposition. 

Calvert-Lewin is well deserving of his place in the squad and will provide back-up to Kane, as well as a physical presence if needed. Meanwhile Sancho has to go, and is in with a shout of starting the first game after a remarkable end to the season with Borussia Dortmund. With Sterling unable to start the key games for City, he could well have leapfrogged him in the pecking order. 

Watkins sneaks into the squad due to his impressive first season in the Premier League, his movement and his slightly higher shot conversion that Leeds striker Patrick Bamford. In the wildcard pick between Bamford and the Greenwood, the teenager gets the nod, based on his age and huge potential. None of the three are likely to play any major part in the tournament given the other forward options, so this one is a nod to a player who could play a crucial part in future tournaments. 

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The Sportsman's Full England Squad List For Euro 2020

Jordan Pickford

Dean Henderson

Sam Johnstone

Harry Maguire

John Stones

Ben Godfrey

Tyrone Mings

Luke Shaw

Ben Chilwell

Kieran Trippier

Kyle Walker

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Jordan Henderson 

Declan Rice

Kalvin Phillips

Jude Bellingham

Jack Grealish

Phil Foden

Mason Mount

Harry Kane

Dominic Calvert-Lewin

Ollie Watkins

Jadon Sancho

Marcus Rashford

Raheem Sterling

Mason Greenwood

Want to know more about England's Group D opponents? Here's what the Czech Republic, Scotland and Croatia have to offer...

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