Gareth Southgate announced on Thursday his first England squad since the 2018 World Cup and while most of it has remained intact, there has been some chopping and changing with the likes of Luke Shaw and James Tarkowski coming into the side.
But who should count themselves as incredibly fortunate to be part of this Three Lions team? Football FanCast’s expert writers give their verdicts on which players don’t deserve to have made Southgate’s latest squad…
“Lallana has done absolutely nothing in the last 12 months to suggest he deserves a spot in the England squad. He has played just three Premier League minutes so far this season, in which he nearly cost Liverpool by giving away a silly free kick late on at Selhurst Park. The 30 year-old was one of England’s better players in the not too distant past, but he is a shadow of his former self, isn’t match fit, and has zero end product.”
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“Danny Welbeck’s participation in this summer’s World Cup was so minimal that it seemed to all but confirm the end of his involvement with Southgate’s England. The forward isn’t close to becoming a starter for Arsenal, and this would have been an ideal opportunity to phase him out. With the likes of Callum Wilson, Danny Ings and Daniel Sturridge all back to full fitness and off the mark already in the Premier League, any of them could have justifiably warranted inclusion.”
“Versatile he may be but Fabian Delph is yet to kick a ball in anger for Manchester City this season and there are young players biting at the heels of the 28-year-old for his spot in the squad. The ex-Aston Villa and Leeds ace was used as a left-back by Pep Guardiola for the whole of last season too so he isn’t the best man for Southgate to be using in one of the key midfield positions. Delph now has 15 international caps but it is time to bring in the new breed of midfielders that have emerged from the Premier League’s youth sides.”
“Gareth Southgate previously said only players that were playing regularly and performing impressively for their clubs would be considered for the England squad, so the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek in the latest one is baffling. Yes, the 22-year-old looked good in glimpses in Russia, but he has played just 33 minutes of Premier League football for Chelsea so far this season and the competition for places in the Blues midfield means he is unlikely to be a regular anytime soon.”
“Welbeck has not been a first-choice player for Arsenal for a while and his selection so soon after a World Cup where he played just a few minutes is bizarre – especially when there are other players who could have been considered. It is difficult to see him starting against Spain in the Nations League and playing him in a friendly is pretty pointless.”