We may not know which stadiums games will be played in, we may not know which countries are able to host games and we may not know how many fans will be in attendance, but the rescheduled Euro 2020 is now just 50 days away. So how are England’s hopefuls looking ahead of their potential selection this summer? We’ve run through the contenders.
Jordan Pickford looks likely to be selected as number one again having performed well under Southgate at the World Cup and for Everton this season. Having not put a foot wrong as England number one so far, it would take something seismic for one of the other keepers to pass him. Dean Henderson has now established himself as Manchester United’s number one, for the time being, while Nick Pope did play well when given his chance in the last international break. These three, barring injury, are all playing regularly in the Premier League and will be the three chosen at the Euros this summer.
Ah the right-back conundrum. Reece James, having found his place at Chelsea under threat with competition from Callum Hudson-Odoi has now established himself as first choice again under Thomas Tuchel. He’s in a strong position to make the squad along with Kyle Walker, who provides that centre-back option if Southgate was to switch to a back three.
Trent Alexander-Arnold certainly has the qualities going forward, but his mistake against Real Madrid after he had been left out of the England squad cost Liverpool. He has improved since that mistake for his club, but will need to maintain that performance level to make the final 23. Meanwhile, Kieran Trippier has proved himself to be a vital part of Atletico Madrid’s La Liga title chasing squad, and given what he did at the World Cup, it would be a shock to see him left out.
Harry Maguire and John Stones are nailed on in the centre of defence, although Stones’ rash red card v Aston Villa last time out will give Southgate slight cause for concern. Behind them Tyrone Mings is failing to reproduce his early season form as Villa have only kept one clean sheet in their past nine, while Conor Coady should make this squad after another impressive season with Wolves. Jose Mourinho’s sacking could provide a lifeline for Eric Dier if he can end the season strongly under Ryan Mason. Lewis Dunk and James Tarkowski, despite good form, look unlikely to make it this time around.
Luke Shaw and Ben Chilwell have established themselves as the two best natural English left-backs at the moment, but Chilwell is facing competition for his place at club level, so Shaw should be in the starting XI this summer. Quite the turnaround for the Manchester United man, while Bukayo Saka’s versatility likely to cost him a place in the squad.
Declan Rice’s knee injury he picked up during the last international break looks set to rule him out for another two weeks, but he should be fully fit in 50 days time. Following his surgery in February, it will be touch and go whether Jordan Henderson will be fit in time, and his recovery could be crucial to the Three Lions’ success. Kalvin Phillips is almost nailed on given his starring role for Leeds and England’s lack of depth in this area, while Mason Mount is almost guaranteed to start given his remarkable form this year.
Jude Bellingham is a remarkable talent and should certainly be included, while James Ward-Prowse’s deadly set pieces make him a contender. One man unlucky enough to miss out on the squad will be James Maddison, despite all his talent, a recent hip injury has forced him to miss a crucial part of the season and there are just too many ahead of him in the pecking order.
Phil Foden has shown his class in recent weeks with crucial goals, he will be starting for England this summer. Villa are monitoring Jack Grealish’s shin injury very carefully, but he should return in May and given how well he performed in an England shirt last time out, should be selected. Jesse Lingard’s England experience and upturn in form at West Ham have dragged him back into contention which means Jadon Sancho could surprisingly miss out, as he returns from the injury that kept him out of the international break.
Marcus Rashford has had injury concerns in recent weeks and will need some gametime between now and the end of the season as Manchester United target Europa League success. Raheem Sterling is underperforming for Man City, but has plenty of credit in the bank for both club and country while Dominic Calvert-Lewin is also suffering with an injury. He’s missed Everton’s last two games in the marathon season.
Meanwhile any hope Danny Ings had of making the squad seems to have evaporated with the hamstring injury he picked up at Tottenham. Ollie Watkins and Patrick Bamford look to be battling for the remaining striker spot, and it could come down to a flip of a coin for Southgate, that is how well both have performed this season.
Then we come onto captain Harry Kane. He missed the Southampton match and Spurs seem desperate for him to play in the Carabao Cup final this weekend but it could prove disastrous for England if he returns before he is fully recovered. The European Championships are more important than the League Cup Harry, just you remember that.