England boss Gareth Southgate has announced his squad for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo.
— England (@England) August 29, 2019
The Three Lions boss has included a number of new faces in his pool, with Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings earning his first call-up to the national team.
Leicester City’s James Maddison could also win his first cap, while Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount has also been included, though Manchester City’s Kyle Walker is left out, as is Tottenham’s Dele Alli; Atletico Madrid’s Kieran Trippier has earned his way back into the squad after being left out of the selection for the Nations League finals in the summer.
Football FanCast, as a result, has taken a look at three options available to Southgate as he looks to get six points on the board in qualification.
This is blessed with experienced heads but there is still an embryonic feeling to Southgate’s project and the inclusion of a handful of young players in this XI reflects that.
Jordan Pickford has emerged as England’s first-choice No.1, while Kieran Trippier and Harry Maguire both enjoyed excellent World Cups in 2018.
Michael Keane has won seven caps, while Danny Rose remains a steady hand at left-back.
Declan Rice, of course, is still young but he is an excellent defensive midfielder and has been tried and tested by Southgate before, while Jordan Henderson is a Champions League winner.
Raheem Sterling is an incredibly exciting attacker and everyone knows just how good he is.
Sancho is far from your typical experienced figurehead at just 19, but he already has six caps under his belt and has been playing with maturity at both club and international level since he broke onto the scene.
Harry Kane leading the line would be something of a no-brainer; he is the best striker England have and won the Golden Boot at the World Cup.
There’s this option, too.
Nick Pope is an excellent goalkeeper and has been superb for Burnley for quite some time now.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is an exceptional full-back and could be given the nod ahead of Trippier as he bids to make the right-back slot his own.
Ben Chilwell is a terrific left-back and has shown as much at Leicester City, though he is just 22. Joe Gomez and Mings are both excellent centre-backs and have been terrific for Liverpool and Villa; they could be a superb partnership for their country.
Harry Winks has won just three caps despite showing his ability for Spurs, while Mount is an exceptional talent.
Sterling could well be rested in favour of Lingard, though he is more experienced than the majority of this XI; it is often forgotten that he’s 26.
Adding James Maddison and Marcus Rashford into the attack, along with Sancho, would add some craft and pace, too.
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This is exciting.
A full-back pairing of Alexander-Arnold and Chilwell would add pace, assiduity and exceptional crossing ability, while Maguire and Mings would be a remarkably powerful centre-back pairing, complementing each other with their excellent distribution from their favoured side of the defensive unit.
Winks and Henderson playing in midfield would perhaps be a tad static but Sterling, Sancho and Maddison playing behind Kane is a trio absolutely packed with pace and skill.
This is legitimately an XI that could go toe-to-toe with a number of major European countries; it would overwhelm both Bulgaria and Kosovo.