After naming a provisional 33-man squad last Tuesday, Gareth Southgate has to submit his final 26-man squad to UEFA on Tuesday 1 June. He therefore has to decide which 7 players will miss out.
It was originally thought that Gareth Southgate would name his final squad last Tuesday but due to a significant number of players involved in the two club European finals as well as uncertainties over several injuries and fitness issues, it was decided that a provisional 33-man squad would be named before being whittled down to 26.
Manchester United were involved in the Europa League Final last Wednesday (May 26) while Manchester Cityplayed Chelsea on Saturday where 7 English players were in the starting lineups.
Meanwhile, Jordan Henderson hasn’t played since 20th February but was named on the bench for Liverpool’s final Premier League game. Similarly, Harry Maguire hasn’t played since 9th May but was named on the bench for the Europa League final last Wednesday. Meanwhile, Kalvin Phillips suffered a shoulder injury in the final moments of Leeds’ final game of season against West Brom but it is expected he will be fit for the start of the Euros.
Additionally, there is the usual debate about who deserves ‘a place on the plane’ and who doesn’t. So who is likely to make the final squad?
There are several players that are regulars for England and are very unlikely to miss out, so are therefore are not being talked about in the debate about who should and shouldn’t be included.
Jordan Pickford, John Stones, Harry Maguire, Jordan Henderson and Kalvin Phillips (if fit), Mason Mount, Harry Kane, Jadon Sancho, Jack Grealish,Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford all fall into this category.
Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford’s form has been talked about recently with some people questioning Sterling’s place in the starting 11 and even his place in the squad. But I think both Sterling and Rashford will be in the final squad.
There is not too much to discuss here.
Jordan Pickford has been England No.1 and virtually ever-present under Gareth Southgate and it is common practice to take 3 goalkeepers so it looks like 2 from the other 3.
Dean Henderson is challenging for the No.1 spot at Manchester United so he will get in the squad while I think Sam Johnstone will get the nod ahead of Aaron Ramsdale. Pickford, Henderson and Johnstone are all odds on to make the final squad with the bookmakers.
Ben Godfrey and Ben White, who received their first call-ups last week will miss out. There are just too many players ahead of them especially if Maguire, Henderson and Phillips are all fit.
I would find it hard to leave out one of the four ‘right backs’ and I think Gareth Southgate will do too. All four are in good form and have shown they can perform on the big stage and they have all been in good form for their clubs. Southgate alluded to the fact that he won’t be afraid to use them in different positions as he said he just sees them as “four good footballers”.
For example, Kyle Walker was used in a back three at the 2018 World Cup, Kieran Trippier can play at left-black, Alexander-Arnold can play at wing-back, Southgate thinks he can also play in midfield. While, Reece James can play in a back three or as a wing-back and Southgate thinks he can play in midfield as well.
Reece James’ performance in the Champions League Final did him no harm and showed he can produce on the big stage. He made more tackles (7) and more clearances (5) than any other player on the pitch. (Squawka Football).
Either Mings or Coady may miss out but Gareth Southgate may want four players that can play in the middle of a back four. Although, it can be argued that Henderson could fill in there but it is not where he is best suited.
Although, James Ward-Prowse didn’t miss a single minute of Premier League football for Southampton last season and is very good on set pieces, he may struggle to get in the final 26. However, his set-piece quality is something to consider as England did work on set-pieces in Russia.
Bukayo Saka is another that will struggle to make the final squad. He is a very versatile player that can play left back, wing back and left wing but there are just too many players ahead of them in each of these positions for me but his future looks very bright.
Jude Bellingham and Jesse Lingard have been very good for their clubs this year and they have both looked good in an England shirt. However, there may only be room for one of them but it remains to be seen who Southgate will favour.
Harry Kane is obviously going to be in the final squad and I think Rashford and Sterling will be as well. Rashford and Sterling’s form has come under scrutiny recently with some questioning their places in the starting 11 and I’ve even seen some question Sterling’s place in the squad but for me they both go. They are both too good to leave out. They may be struggling with finishing and consistency recently but their pace and trickery is undoubtedly an asset especially on the counter attack.
Ollie Watkins had a great first season in the Premier League, with 14 goals and 5 assists, he provides goals and assists. Similarly, Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored 16 goals but with no assists and 7 of those goals came in his first 5 games. Apart from Kane, Calvert-Lewin is probably the best finisher with his head and has a slightly better minutes per goal in the Premier League – 180 compared to 238 for Watkins but Watkins offers more assist potential.
They both have something to offer and they both offer something slightly different but there may only be room for one of them. It may depend whether Southgate feels he needs another player who can offer both goals and assists or he Southgate may feel that Calvert-Lewin can offer an alternative type of striker if he wants to play more direct at times.
Just like in 19/20, Mason Greenwood ended the 20/21 Premier League season very strongly. He scored 6 goals and provided 1 assist in his final 8 Premier League games. He has come under significant praise for his finishing ability but it is just a case of whether there is enough room for him as there is an abundance of forward options for England but he does offer a combination of pace, trickery and finishing.
All eyes will be on tomorrow’s announcement. Much will depend on what styles and systems Southgate will want to use and how many players Southgate wants in each position.
The ones who both I would leave out and I think Gareth Southgate to leave out is Ramsdale, White, Godfrey, Ward-Prowse, Saka. Then I’m going to sit on the fence slightly and say the other two that will miss out will come from Coady, Mings, Lingard, Bellingham, Watkins, Calvert-Lewin or Greenwood.
All stats came from Squawka football, Transfermarkt and Fantasy Football Scout.