From Definitely In to Phased Out: How England could line up at Euro 2020

Just as night follows day, so too does an international tournament follow an international tournament.

Fresh from finishing third at the UEFA Nations League, England will be in action at Euro 2020 next summer, provided they can qualify from a group also comprising Czech Republic, Kosovo, Bulgaria and Montenegro. They have won the two games they have played so far.

But how could they line up at the showpiece next summer, which is set to take place across Europe and culminate at Wembley?

Football FanCast takes a look at those who will almost certainly be included in the squad, barring injury, those who need a good season to be included, and those who are more than likely to be watching from the sofa…

DEFINITELY IN

Euro 2020 Qualifier - Group A - Montenegro v England

Jordan Pickford – England’s No.1, he arguably outperforms himself when he is playing for his country as opposed to his form for Everton. Made a brilliant penalty save against Colombia in the World Cup and followed it by scoring one and saving one in the Nations League third-place shootout with Switzerland.

Trent Alexander Arnold – The best right-back currently playing in Europe. He has been a revelation for Liverpool and was perhaps the reason they reached the Champions League final, thanks to his quick thinking against Barcelona. A decent defender and an excellent crosser of the ball, he should be one of the first names on the teamsheet at the tournament.

Harry Maguire – “Slabhead”. Maguire became a cult hero during the 2018 World Cup and is perhaps the most straightforward defender of England’s current pool. A threat in the opposition box – he scored at the World Cup against Sweden – he is almost certain to be in Southgate’s first XI at Euro 2020.

Jordan Henderson – Liverpool’s captain, Henderson is key to the way his sides play. He may not be the most spectacular midfielder but he’s phenomenal at driving the team forward. He’ll be in the squad and most likely on the pitch at Euro 2020.

Dele Alli – Frustrating at times, Alli is blessed with genuinely world-class talent. He simply needs to add it all up in one sum. If he can add consistency to his game, he’ll be one of England’s most potent attacking weapons at the tournament. He’ll be hoping to improve in 2019/20 after a mixed season at club level but he’ll be in the squad.

Jadon Sancho – England’s most exciting youngster, Sancho is already being touted as a £100m player. A revelation at Borussia Dortmund, he could destroy opposition defences for England and could be vital to the Three Lions’ chances of glory.

Raheem Sterling – Manchester City’s best player in one of the best seasons in their history in 2018/19, it would take a collapse of Devon Loch proportions for him to miss out on a spot in the squad. He captained England against the Netherlands; he’ll be in the XI for the first game of Euro 2020, fitness permitting.

Harry Kane – England’s captain and one of the best strikers in world football. If he stays fit, he’s likely to win the Golden Boot next summer.

MOST LIKELY IN

Kyle Walker in action for England against Panama at the World Cup

Harry Winks – England’s best ball-playing midfielder, Winks should be the player Southgate is building around. Fitness issues can trouble him but if he enjoys an injury-free season, he’ll be on the plane.

Tom Heaton – Burnley’s first-choice goalkeeper, he’s a model of consistency. Provided Sean Dyche keeps his faith in him, he’ll be an able deputy to Pickford.

Kyle Walker – Walker has seen his right-back spot robbed by Alexander-Arnold but he’s still an elite right-back and it would be a shock if he was left out of the squad.

Joe Gomez – An excellent centre-back with all the tools needed to be an elite defender, Gomez needs to play regularly. He made 16 Premier League appearances for Liverpool in 2018/19, having struggled with ankle injuries. If he stays fit and proves his worth, he’ll be in the squad.

John Stones – This would have been a dead cert, but then he did what he did against the Netherlands. One feels that he can over-complicate things at times and England need a more assured distributor alongside Maguire. He’ll need to recover his form at Manchester City to guarantee a place in the squad.

Ben Chilwell – Chilwell has emerged as England’s best left-back during his time at Leicester City. Danny Rose is breathing down his neck but his lung-busting runs forward and seemingly unflappable composure give him the edge on the Tottenham Hotspur man. It remains to be seen if that form is a purple patch, however.

Danny Rose – England will need two left-backs at the tournament and Rose, while perhaps not first-choice, is unlikely to be left out altogether.

Declan Rice – A recent England debutant, Rice has broken out as England’s best defensive midfielder in the past few months. If he keeps his form up and stays fit, he’ll almost definitely be selected.

Jesse Lingard – Lingard has the attributes needed to unlock most opposition defences but it remains to be seen if he will be trusted to dislodge the likes of Alli, Sterling and Sancho from England’s exciting forward line. Likely a bench player at the tournament, it’s nevertheless likely he’ll be in the squad.

Marcus Rashford – Kane’s understudy, this one is purely fitness permitting. Rashford has all the quality in the world but he needs to be playing regularly. If Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer keeps his faith in him, and he’s fit next summer, he’ll be on the plane.

ON THE CUSP

Jack Butland – Having never earned his big move, Butland remains Stoke City’s goalkeeper. If he keeps his consistency, he’ll likely be the third-choice behind Pickford and Heaton. If not, he could see his spot snatched.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka – He has yet to make his senior debut but it seems just a matter of time. The Crystal Palace right-back is being linked with a big move this summer and his chances of selection will surely increase if it comes off. If not, he’ll have to keep putting in the work as one of the Eagles’ best players to be noticed.

Ross Barkley – A truly gifted attacking midfielder, Barkley has been in and out of the Chelsea team under Maurizio Sarri; if he can put a run of games together and show his remarkable quality, Southgate will surely pick him. If not, he could lose his spot.

James Maddison – Maddison could be the chief beneficiary if Barkley does miss out. A brilliant midfielder with the ability to unlock defences and score from set-pieces, he would offer something different to the Chelsea man and also to Alli. The spot is there for the taking. It is down to him to make sure that Southgate can’t ignore him any longer.

Michael Keane – A more than capable centre-back, he isn’t quite as good as Maguire but he’s decent at what he does and Southgate seems to trust him, though he needs a solid season to get back into the squad.

FORM DEPENDENT

Chris Smalling – Manchester United’s best centre-back but, at this point, that isn’t saying much. He’s been an England regular before, winning 31 caps, but he hasn’t played for his country since 2017. Get back to previous form, though, and he’s in with a shout.

James Tarkowski – A meat and potatoes defender, if he keeps his excellent 2018/19 form up next term, he’d be a solid option for Southgate to call on. If not, there are plenty of other options in his position.

Ryan Sessegnon – He could leave Fulham this summer – Tottenham have been heavily linked – and if he thrives under Mauricio Pochettino, he could be the latest Spurs star to earn a call-up. If he stays in west London or he sits on the bench at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, maybe not.

Jack Grealish – It remains to be seen how Grealish will adjust to Premier League football after Aston Villa’s promotion. If he continues to dazzle with his dribbling ability and eye for a pass, expect him to be under consideration for a spot in Southgate’s squad.

Adam Lallana – Lallana is something of an enigma. On form, he is one of the best attacking midfielders in the country. And yet, he so rarely seems to be on form these days. Jurgen Klopp has phased him out at Liverpool and he was not included in the squad for any of the club’s final six Premier League outings as they looked to chase down Manchester City. Perhaps he needs a move but it’s unlikely he’ll be in the England squad unless he can get back to his Southampton ways.

Callum Hudson-Odoi – Another talent with all the raw attributes needed to be an elite winger, he needs the trust of his manager. If he has the chance to thrive that he sorely deserves, he could play his way into Southgate’s plans. If he continues to sit on the bench, don’t expect him to be in the England squad next summer. A long-term injury of course doesn’t help his case.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek – A player with a potent mix of intelligence of excellent positional awareness, Loftus-Cheek is the archetypal modern midfielder. He’s got the lung-busting stamina needed to play as a box-to-box midfielder but, again, he needs to be trusted. He made a total of 24 Premier League appearances in 2018/19. Repeat that next season and Southgate will have a decision to make but like his Chelsea team-mate, he’ll start 2019/20 on the sidelines.

Nathaniel Chalobah – Capped once under Southgate, Chalobah is a physical, mobile presence in the centre of midfield. He made just nine Premier League appearances in 2018/19, though, so don’t expect him to be in the squad unless games come thick and fast.

Lewis Dunk – An excellent defender playing for an unfashionable club, the Brighton & Hove Albion stalwart could make the fourth centre-back spot his own, provided his consistency carries through this season.

Alex McCarthy – The third goalkeeping spot is there for the taking. If McCarthy has a good season, he could well be in Southgate’s thinking.

Tammy Abraham – A goalscoring machine at Aston Villa, it remains to be seen if Abraham will return to Chelsea this season or go out on loan again. If he can score anywhere close to 26 goals in the Premier League, as he did in the Championship, he’ll certainly be in the squad. That, though, is a massive if.

Phil Foden – The jewel of Manchester City’s academy, will he play? It seems unlikely, what with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva blocking his path. But if he can force his way into Pep Guardiola’s plans, he can do similar to Southgate.

Nathan Redmond – A revelation at Southampton under Ralph Hasenhuttl, Redmond was included in Southgate’s initial Nations League squad before it was whittled down to 23. Allying pace, finishing ability and excellent dribbling, Redmond could be something of a wildcard next summer.

James Ward-Prowse – A smart passer of the ball, the Southampton star simply hasn’t made his mark on the international game. Another tidy season could see him considered but it does feel that his time may have been and gone.

PHASED OUT

World Cup - Semi Final - Kieran Trippier celebrates for England

Danny Welbeck – Injuries have robbed him of the games he needs to prove his worth. On his day, he is unlike any other forward player in the Premier League but a question mark constantly hangs over his fitness. If he can complete a full season, Southgate will have a decision to make, but it seems tragically unlikely at this stage.

Ashley Young – Ageing and far from the best option for Manchester United, he is perhaps the fourth-choice left-back for England behind Chilwell, Rose and Luke Shaw. It’d be a shock if he was in the squad, regardless of his form this season.

Kieran Trippier – He has endured a nightmare season at Spurs and continues to be linked with Napoli. Perhaps a move would bring the best out of him but he is likely to be England’s fourth-choice next summer behind Alexander-Arnold, Walker and Wan-Bissaka. What a fall from grace.

Luke Shaw – If Chilwell and Rose are in the squad, Shaw could potentially be included as a third-choice full-back but one wonders if Southgate will even bother. He’s been steady for United but that’s it. Steady doesn’t earn you an international call-up.

Callum Wilson – Outside of Kane and Rashford, there are places to be earned up front. But Wilson is somewhat injury-prone and it remains to be seen if he can stay fit. If he can, and if he can repeat this season’s tally of 15 goals in all competitions, he has a chance. Otherwise, it’s a no.

Eric Dier – A disappointing season at club level did not stop him being called up to the Nations League squad but Dier could be behind Henderson and Rice in the pecking order come next summer. Will Southgate see a need to take three defensive midfielders? If the answer is no, expect Dier to miss out.

Fabian Delph – Versatile and talented, Delph is in and out of the Manchester City team and he needs to play consistently to have any right to be called up. That just doesn’t feel very likely.

Phil Jones – Much like Smalling, Jones used to be a key part of England’s squad. He hasn’t played for his country since the World Cup – he played 90 minutes in the third-place play-off – and hasn’t been called up once in the aftermath. Sadly for Jones, England haven’t missed him.

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