With Euro 2020 being postponed due to the current pandemic, it has given Gareth Southgate another year to choose his strongest England side. I’m going to try and do the impossible and predict what squad the Three Lions will take to the international tournament, starting with the 3 goalkeepers.
GK – Dean Henderson
Henderson has had a terrific season on loan at Sheffield United and has given not only Gareth Southgate but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a lot of questions when it comes to first-choice goalkeepers. Possibly taking David De Gea’s number 1 jersey next year, I can see Henderson taking the top spot in Southgate’s squad.
GK – Jordan Pickford
The person Henderson would be replacing will still be on the squad but after a lackluster season at Everton riddled with errors, we could see the end of Pickford’s reign as England’s starting keeper.
GK – Nick Pope
Third choice keepers rarely get a game at the tournament, but it’s always nice to have a strong choice and Nick Pope is just that. The Burnley keeper is a proven shot-stopper and is a clear choice to round up my three goalkeepers.
RB – Trent Alexander-Arnold
Possibly the best-attacking RB in the world, only Joshua Kimmich rivals him for the top spot. There’s no way he isn’t picked unless he’s unfit. Trent will provide the dangerous dead ball game that he has produced for Liverpool and is a shoe-in for a spot on the plane.
RB – Arron Wan Bissaka
The Manchester United fullback has proven to take the art of defending very seriously. Not afraid of putting in a tackle, he’s the perfect substitute to sure up the defensive line.
CB – Harry Maguire
Old ‘Slab Head’ will definitely be a first choice CB for Southgate’s back line. Dominant in the air and capable on the ball, he will bring the calm head that the rest of the defense will turn to in times of trouble.
CB – Joe Gomez
Gomez has turned into a very capable CB playing alongside Van Djik in Liverpool’s defense. Being one of their most consistent performers, it won’t be surprising if he takes Matip’s spot in the Premier League and John Stones’ place in the England side.
CB – Fikayo Tomori
A strong backup CB, Tomori has impressed in his first season playing for Chelsea. Lampard has proven that Chelsea had the talent all along and Tomori is a shining example of that. It’s a toss-up between him and Gomes who will start but I’d bring Tomori off the bench.
CB – Michael Keane
Keane hasn’t had the best of times since leaving Burnley for Everton but the former Manchester United CB will still find a way onto the plane. He probably won’t see any game time but it’s an experience that could change his career right around.
LB – Ben Chilwell
Leicester City’s starting LB will take the final starting spot on the England side. Chilwell is a master at defensive positioning and is rarely caught out of position. He’s sure to be in the 23.
LB – Reece James
James is another of Lampard’s youthful Chelsea side that has shown glimpses of becoming a world-class fullback. Expect him to take the aging Marcos Alonso’s spot in Chelsea side and Southgate would be foolish not to take a chance on him.
CM – Jordan Henderson
The Premier League-winning captain has finally answered all his critics with a stellar set of performances. He is easily the best central defensive midfielder England has at this point in time and will be the first name on the list.
CM – James Maddison
The playmaker has been in fine form for Leicester this season keeping them within touching distance of a Champions League place next year. A quality player on the ball he will provide serious threat when it comes to supplying players up front and out wide.
CM – Harry Winks
Although he’s not a popular choice amongst the England faithful, Winks’ performances often go under the radar. A calm and composed player on the ball, Winks has slotted into the CDM role for the Spurs and will do the same for England.
CM – Mason Mount
The third player to find his feet in the Premier League under Frank Lampard, Mason Mount looks to be one of England’s best young talents. Although he isn’t gifted with lightning pace or silky skills, he has an eye for a pass like no one else and a goal-scoring ability that most midfielders lack. I believe he will be the creative inspiration that we will need coming off the bench.
CM – Dele Alli
The first player to be picked on name alone, Alli hasn’t shone for the Spurs this year. However, there is no denying the talent and ability that he possesses. Alli, if fully motivated, can be the deciding factor in a game but I can only see a place on the bench for him.
CM – Ross Barkley
Barkley has never really hit the potential set out for him when he originally came through the ranks at Everton. However it’s always going to be hard to follow the trail left behind by a certain Wayne Rooney. Ross has become a reliable player and if fully fit could make a difference from the bench.
CM – Kalvin Phillips
Some would call it a bold claim and others would say he’s the perfect partner for Henderson in the holding midfield role. Phillips has been one of the bright lights coming out of the Championship the last two seasons and looks like he will fit right into the Premier League. In my mind, if he can crush the rash challenges he has in his locker next year, he should be starting in the Euros.
RW – Jadon Sancho
Sancho is exactly what’s England has been lacking for the past 20 years. A young talent going abroad and bringing a new style of play to the team. Not only does he have the dribbling ability to beat his man, but he also has the end product whether it be a pass or finish. Sancho will be a definite member of the squad and can play both wings.
RW – Raheem Sterling
Sterling has finally added goals to his game under Pep at Man City and always looks a threat bringing the ball forward. Another winger able to play on both sides, I reckon Sterling will start on the bench but expect this to be rotational between the groups until we settle on the best attacking set up.
LW – Marcus Rashford
Rashford looks to reinvigorated play from the left side of the attack. Being able to play both LW and ST is a big factor in why Rashford will be picked for this squad. However, his pace and finishing ability will give defenders a lot to think about when he carries the ball. Possibly another to alternate with Sterling and Sancho.
ST – Harry Kane
Kane can’t not go to this tournament, looking like the best outright striker England has had since Shearer. His ability to score from literally anywhere on the pitch and perfect positioning make him the best all-round striker for England. Kane’s World Cup goal scoring record from 2018 is only the beginning, expect him to be the Golden Boot winner. I know, another big claim.
ST – Tammy Abraham
The final member of my 23 man squad Tammy Abraham is another lethal striker that has shone this season. Injury stopped his season right when he’s was on top form but given a full preseason and avoiding any injuries next year expect him to edge out Jamie Vardy for the final spot on the plane.
Some names that just miss out on my team are Jamie Vardy, Alex Oxalde-Chamberlain, and Kyle Walker, but I believe that my 23 man squad has the potential to at least hit the semifinals of the competition, if not win the full thing.
A lot won’t agree, but let me know who you would swap out in the comments below.
If I do get all 23 right I’ll be expecting a call from the FA for the 2022 World Cup because clearly, I’m the special one not Jose Mourinho.