England Euro 2020 squad: Who’s on the bus, who’s in contention, who could miss out?

Who will make up Gareth Southgate’s final 23-man squad?

Mark Critchley
Northern Football Correspondent
Tuesday 13 April 2021 12:18 BST
Who will make up Gareth Southgate’s final 23-man England squad for Euro 2020?
Who will make up Gareth Southgate’s final 23-man England squad for Euro 2020? (Getty Images / The Independent)

Gareth Southgate’s next England squad will be his final selection for the rearranged Euro 2020.

England will play Croatia, Scotland and the Czech Republic in Group D. All three of their games will be held at Wembley, as will the semi-finals and final.

Southgate is expected to name his final squad after the end of the Premier League season, on the week commencing 23 May.

England will then play pre-tournament friendlies against Austria and Romania.

Who will be on the team bus from St George’s Park to Wembley? Who can be confident of a place, who is on the fringes, who has work to do and who is only an outside bet?

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Here,The Independent runs the rule over the contenders...

On the bus

Harry Kane

England’s captain and most accomplished international goal-scorer by some distance, Kane is not only top of the Premier League’s scoring charts but has registered the most assists too. Only injury can prevent him from a place in the squad.

Raheem Sterling

After enjoying the most prolific season of his career to date last year, Sterling has been somewhat inconsistent in front of goal for Manchester City this time around. A run of scoring between now and the end of the season would be welcome but his importance to England has never come into question.

Jadon Sancho

Sancho had a difficult start to the campaign with Dortmund, who have underachieved in the Bundesliga this season, but his form has picked up since Christmas. Perhaps not guaranteed to start but will surely be selected in the squad. Missed the March internationals with an ankle ligament injury.

Harry Maguire

Maguire has quietly played his way back into form after a difficult start to the season on and off-the-pitch. Though he lacks pace, he is England’s best centre-back and his ability to carry the ball up the pitch is a bonus. Southgate sees him as the squad’s senior central defender.

Declan Rice

Despite only having 15 caps to his name, already looks like one of the first names on Southgate’s team sheet. Rice still has much to learn before he can be considered to be at the elite level but he has only just turned 22 and has greatly improved over the past year.

Mason Mount

Another Southgate favourite, Mount’s attacking nous and work out of possession endears him to his managers and Thomas Tuchel appears to value his abilities too. As long as he can survive Chelsea’s rotation policy, his place in the final squad appears guaranteed.

Marcus Rashford

A national hero for his efforts in fighting child poverty off-the-pitch, Rashford has struggled for consistency on it. Nevertheless, it is hard to see how he fails to make the final squad and he will hope to be in form by the summer. Carrying a shoulder injury which may require surgery after the tournament.

Jordan Pickford

Despite all the questions about his status as England’s No 1, Pickford’s place in the squad remains safe. The Everton goalkeeper’s ability with his feet can be overstated but it is important to Southgate and he is more adept in possession than his rivals for the spot. Missed the March games through injury.

Nick Pope

All but certain to travel as Pickford’s backup after stepping in for all three of the March qualifiers. Burnley’s style does not suit England’s desire to play out from the back and Pope’s hesitancy with the ball at his feet counts against him in the battle for the No 1 spot.

In contention

Jack Grealish

Since making his international debut in September, Grealish’s reputation has soared to the point where he is widely regarded as one of the finest creative players in the Premier League. Even Southgate finally appears convinced, which should be enough to see off competition for a place.

Jordan Henderson

Henderson has more experience at international level than practically any other England regular and could be key when it comes to progressing the ball up the pitch but a groin injury which requires surgery has put his place in doubt. Southgate will give him every chance.

Ben Chilwell

No longer certain of a starting spot at Chelsea since Tuchel’s arrival and Luke Shaw could now challenge at international level. Even so, Chilwell has been a key part of the England set-up since the World Cup and if Southgate takes two left-backs, he is still likely to earn a spot.

England midfielder Phil Foden (Getty Images / The Independent)

Phil Foden

Even with Grealish and Sancho’s emergence, arguably England’s most exciting new talent since the summer of 2018. Foden returned to the squad quickly after the disciplinary incident in Iceland and played in all three of March’s qualifiers, which speaks to Southgate’s faith that he can play a key part at the Euros.

John Stones

From international outcast to a starting centre-back, Stones’ revival is a huge boost to England. Appears likely to partner Maguire in the heart of the defence, though the error against Poland was an unwelcome reminder of why he spent so long away from the national set-up.

Kieran Trippier

Back for Atletico Madrid after serving his 10-week ban for gambling offences. Southgate is still a fan, giving the Atletico Madrid full-back the captain’s armband against Wales in October. Tripper’s experience and set-piece ability gives him an edge over rivals and he could fill in at left wing-back too.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin

Took advantage of Ings and Abraham’s absences and moved clear in the race to be Kane’s summer understudy. Calvert-Lewin’s physicality offers something different from the other alternatives and the goals are gradually starting to return at club level too after a strong start to the season.

Luke Shaw

Spoke of his regrets at international level after assisting Kane’s breakthrough against Albania, which was his first start since September 2018. Shaw has been performing well at club level for more than a year now and looks ready to provide Chilwell with genuine competition for the left-back spot.

Kyle Walker

Regained Southgate’s trust after a needless sending off in Iceland back in September, starting against Albania and Poland. Walker’s pace and ability to play either as a right-back or the right-sided centre-back in a defensive three offers him a route into the final squad that is not open for some of his rivals.

Dean Henderson

Easily one of England’s three best goalkeepers based on his displays last season and has finally enjoyed a run of games at Manchester United. Will he finally succeed David de Gea at club level on his return from international duty or go straight back to the bench?

England midfielder Kalvin Phillips (Getty Images / The Independent)

Kalvin Phillips

Not assured of a place but will take encouragement from starting all three qualifiers against San Marino, Albania and Poland. Defensively-minded but capable of playmaking, Southgate was happy with his performance when asked to take on a more advanced role in Tirana.

On the fringes

Trent Alexander-Arnold

The most surprising omission from the March squad. Southgate said that Alexander-Arnold’s form this season had not matched the level of previous years, though still described him as “unfortunate” to miss out and talked up his recent performances in weeks. Cannot be sure of a return.

Bukayo Saka

Called up but played no part in the March camp due to injury. Saka impressed when part of the squad during the autumn and his ability to play anywhere down the left flank is an asset, but Southgate may decide that Chilwell and Shaw provide enough cover down that flank.

Jude Bellingham

Playing regularly for Dortmund, impressing in the Champions League knock-out stages and not even 18 until June. Bellingham may already be England’s most well-rounded option in midfield and is becoming increasingly hard to overlook, despite his tender years.

Reece James

Highly thought of within the England set-up, as his inclusion despite being suspended for two of November’s three games proved, but facing stiff competition for a place at right back and has lost his automatic starting spot since Tuchel’s arrival at Chelsea.

Tyrone Mings

Despite only winning his first cap last year at 26-years-old, Mings already appears to be a player Southgate trusts. His left-footedness is no small part of his appeal as a centre-half and could be key if England play three at the back against elite opponents.

James Ward-Prowse

Ward-Prowse’s set-piece ability offers something genuinely unique and could give him the edge over the likes of Phillips in the final analysis. Southampton’s slump in the second half of the season has not helped his cause, though. Missed the final game against Poland as a fitness precaution.

Jesse Lingard

Has the J-Lingz renaissance come too late for a Euros place? Possibly not. Lingard returned for the March internationals and played in all three, having been a trusted regular at the last World Cup. His work rate off-the-ball is something Southgate wants to see from his attacking players.

Eric Dier

Included in the March squad but did not play - not even being named on the bench against Albania -and has dropped out of Jose Mourinho’s starting line-up at club level. Of all those to join up for the most recent camp, Dier’s position feels the most precarious.

Conor Coady

Took the captain’s armband after Sterling’s substitution against San Marino, the second time he has worn it in just four caps, showing Southgate’s faith. Even so, the move away from a fixed back three may damage his chances of a Euros place. Coady’s Wolves have struggled with a back four this season.

Ollie Watkins

A surprise recent call-up but Watkins scored on debut and has adapted well to the Premier League and reached double figures for Villa already. Finishing has been an issue at times and a lack of international experience may count against him when it comes to the final squad.

Michael Keane

Started both the autumn’s friendlies against Wales and the Republic of Ireland, and has carried his form through to the second-half of the season, but not always comfortable playing in a high line and was left out of the March squad despite being fit and available.

Tammy Abraham

Unavailable for the March camp through injury. Though he has matched Calvert-Lewin’s performances when he has played, a lack of regular minutes for Chelsea counts against him. Abraham needs a strong end of the season to force his way into Southgate’s plans.

Danny Ings

Scored against Wales in October but missed the last two squads through injury and those fitness concerns are likely to count against him in the final analysis. Even when he has played, Ings has not quite hit the heights of last season for Southampton either.

James Maddison

Injury deprived him of a chance to stake his claim in the autumn, then again in the spring. There is probably now too much competition and too many established talents ahead of him in the pecking order, despite some impressive displays for Leicester.

Harvey Barnes

Unavailable for the most recent camp but even so, in a similar position to his Leicester team-mate Maddison. There just is not the room to squeeze him in alongside Sancho, Sterling, Rashford, Grealish and Foden, though at 23-years-old he has every chance of a call-up further down the line.

Work to do

Patrick Bamford

Is Bamford’s goalscoring just a product of Marcelo Bielsa’s style and system? Can it be replicated in an England shirt? Those questions may have been playing on Southgate’s mind when he decided against selecting Bamford for the March camp, despite talk of a first call-up.

Mason Greenwood

Dropped out of the Under-21s Euros squad through injury. Otherwise, has not been involved in an England camp at any level since being sent home with Foden from the trip to Iceland. Struggled for goals at United, with just one in the league since the start of the season.

Callum Hudson-Odoi

England’s Under-21s group stage elimination opens up the possibility for Hudson-Odoi to be available to the seniors this summer, though his inclusion in Aidy Boothroyd’s squad was a sign that he has a lot of work to do. Playing more regularly under Tuchel than Frank Lampard, at least.

England midfielder Harry Winks (Getty Images / The Independent)

Harry Winks

Winks was an ever-present in Southgate’s squads but a lack of playing time at Tottenham has seriously harmed his chances of making the final cut. With only 10 league appearances to his name, it is hard to justify his selection ahead of immediate rivals.

Ross Barkley

Barkley was an England regular and Southgate favourite post-World Cup but injuries have hampered his progress while on loan at Aston Villa and when he has played recently, he has looked short of form. A late rally into the final squad looks unlikely from here.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles

Emerged as something of a utility man but unlikely to make the squad in that capacity as many of Southgate’s bases are covered. Not expected to make a strong case for his inclusion while part of a poor West Bromwich Albion side which appears destined for the drop.

Callum Wilson

Last called up in late 2019, Wilson’s 10 league goals this season represents a decent return but four have come from the penalty spot. Now, the Newcastle striker is out with a hamstring injury. Calvert-Lewin, Ings and Abraham all appear to be ahead of him in the queue.

Fikayo Tomori

Escaped Chelsea on loan during the January window in search of regular first-team football at Milan and has impressed in Serie A so far. There is an outside chance if he maintains that form but Tomori has not been part of an England squad since late 2019.

Ezri Konsa

Uncapped but impressive alongside Mings at the heart of Villa’s defence this season, Konsa is a product of the same Charlton academy that produced Joe Gomez. Southgate is keeping tabs on him though there may be too many ahead of him at centre-back for a late push.

Outside bets

Former England striker Jamie Vardy (Getty Images / The Independent)

Jamie Vardy

Vardy did not announce his retirement from international football after the 2018 World Cup, instead merely ‘walking away’ from the England set-up. Southgate remains in contact and the door is open but a return in time for this summer’s tournament would be a major surprise.

Joe Gomez

The Liverpool defender suffered a season-ending knee injury during the November camp, putting his Euros place in serious doubt. Even though there was initial optimism that he may recover in time, Jurgen Klopp said recently that the tournament will probably come too soon.

Dele Alli

A forgotten man for club and country. Alli’s last international appearance was at the Nations League finals more than two years ago but he will need to win back the confidence of Mourinho before an England return can be considered. Struggled for a defined role when he was a regular.

Michail Antonio

Last called up in early 2017 by Southgate but withdrew from the squad. David Moyes has made the most of Antonio’s unique skill set at West Ham. Could England do the same? There is already a lot of competition up front and Antonio is thought to be considering switching allegiances to Jamaica.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Arguably the best ball-winning full-back in the country yet still uncapped at senior international level. Wan-Bissaka is an unfortunate victim of England’s right-back surplus but his limitations going forward and defending far post crosses cannot be ignored either. Eligible to represent the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Aaron Cresswell

Shaw’s closest contender as the Premier League’s best left-back this season, Cresswell last England appearance was as a starter in a 1-0 win over Lithuania under Southgate. Despite his form at West Ham, Chilwell, Shaw and Saka all seem to be ahead of him.

Luke Ayling

Another uncapped player who was rumoured to be under consideration for the March squad after adapting to top-flight football well with Leeds. Ayling’s chances of a finals place suffer due to his lack of international experience and the competition for places at right-back.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

The barrier to Oxlade-Chamberlain playing more regularly for club and country is the same as it ever was: fitness. After yet another stop-start year at Liverpool, it is difficult to see how he puts a run together to force his way back into Southgate’s thinking.

Matty Cash

Name-dropped by Southgate as one of the many right-back options at his disposal and has enjoyed an impressive first year at Villa since stepping up from the Championship, but a late run into the final squad looks unlikely given the competition in his position.

The Independent’s predicted Euro 2020 squad

Goalkeepers: Pickford, Pope, Henderson

Defenders: Maguire, Stones, Mings, Walker, Alexander-Arnold, Trippier, Chilwell, Shaw, Saka

Midfielders: Henderson, Rice, Mount, Phillips

Forwards: Sancho, Foden, Sterling, Grealish, Rashford, Kane, Calvert-Lewin.

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