Last week, Gareth Southgate named his 33-man squad for the 2020 European Championships and after a week with the players, excluding a few whose teams were in European competitions, he is expected to drop seven. For some of the players, getting called to the provisional squad is, in itself a win. Staying in the final 26-man squad would be a big boost.
While there’s a group of untouchables, there has been talk of who are the leading prospects among players to be released. Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ollie Watkins, Jesse Lingard, Bukayo Saka and Ben White have all featured prominently in that list. Injuries to Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson mean a few senior players may join the list, while Kalvin Phillips is also said to be struggling.
Trent Alexander-Arnold hasn’t had a great season with Liverpool, and with the competition at right back, it was a surprise he was even called up to the provisional squad. His ability with crosses is the best asset the defender carries and he can be a great addition when joining in attack too. Whether he will be in the final team remains to be seen, especially after Recce James’ performance in the Champions League final, and of course competition from Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier.
Ben white was another surprise inclusion. The Brighton defender has done well in the season, but all indications show his best chance of inclusion to the team is Harry Maguire failing to recover in time.
Everton centre back Ben Godfrey is also another one crossing fingers for a place in the final team. Like Ben White, his Euro 2020 prospects also rely on Maguire’s fitness. His ability to play at full back as well as central defence may work for him though.
Connor Coady is another one in a congested defence, and after a good campaign, he was rightly called up. His real battle now is to convince Southgate that he is the best to carry to the finals. His experience and the fact that he already has four England caps may place him ahead of Godfrey and White.
It is particularly sad that the players dropped will not have the chance to show the manager what they can do in a match situation with England. The Three Lions’ first friendly match comes after the cull. That game and many more warm-up matches are set to take place ahead of the tournament’s kickoff on June 11 and SportyTrader football tips have the previews.
Mason Greenwood hit form towards the end of the season and overlooking him will call for a very convincing explanation from Gareth Southgate. His inclusion or not, will not be dependent on his abilities, or lack of. The youngster is up against tried and tested forwards. Alongside Ollie Watkins, they are the least capped among the forwards and when experience is considered he won’t make the cut.
Goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale was also an unexpected inclusion to the 33-man squad after his side finished as the poorest in the Premier League, getting relegated quite early. His team had a poor season, but the keeper was among the best performers, stepping up after Dean Henderson’s departure. One of him and West Brom’s Sam Johnstone will definitely miss out so both keepers will be crossing fingers.
Ollie Watkins has had a good first season in the Premier League with Aston Villa, but he may have to pay the price for inexperience at this stage, the same consideration that could be given to Mason Greenwood and Bukayo Saka.
Jesse Lingard may have lifted himself back to the tam after his heroics while on loan at West Ham. While that alone was enough for him, the fact that he was part of the 2018 World Cup squad and thus has tournament experience should guarantee him a place in the final team.