Gareth Southgate has announced his latest 25-man England squad for the upcoming Euro 2020 Qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo.
The England manager has included four uncapped players in his latest squad, two of which have earned call ups for the first time.
England squad announcement: Four things to know…
- Southgate has called up four uncapped players for the European qualifiers next month.
- Among those are Leicester City’s James Maddison and Chelsea’s Mason Mount, who have both been called up before.
- Man Utd’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings have earned first call ups in their respective careers.
- Southgate has also included a number of his trusted World Cup players, despite some underwhelming starts to the season.
Among those are Aston Villa centre-back Tyrone Mings and Manchester United full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who have both impressed in the early stages of the new Premier League season.
Elsewhere, Leicester City talisman James Maddison and Chelsea starlet Mason Mount have both earned calls up for the second time in their careers and will be hoping to win a maiden cap during next month’s fixtures.
Southgate has also included a number of players who featured at the World Cup with England, including Jesse Lingard and Kieran Trippier, who recently relocated to Atletico Madrid.
Liverpool midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has also made the cut for the first time since March 2018 following his lengthy lay-off, while Tottenham’s Harry Winks makes the final 23 after recovering from a few injury problems of his own a few months prior.
Goalkeeper Jack Butland has been dropped, with Nick Pope and Tom Heaton preferred as back-ups to No.1 Jordan Pickford.
— England (@England) August 29, 2019
Without further ado, here is the latest England squad in full.
Goalkeepers: Tom Heaton, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope.
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ben Chilwell, Joe Gomez, Michael Keane, Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings, Danny Rose, Kieran Trippier, Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Midfielders: Ross Barkley, Jordan Henderson, James Maddison, Mason Mount, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Declan Rice, Harry Winks.
Forwards: Harry Kane, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling, Callum Wilson.
Winners & losers
Winner: Tyrone Mings
When the towering centre-back joined Aston Villa on loan in the Championship back in January, he perhaps wouldn’t have envisaged that an England call-up was on the horizon in just seven month’s time.
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But, his consistent and dominating performances at the back for Villa culminated in promotion to the big time and a permanent contract in the West Midlands, with his continued progress this campaign now yielding a rise to the international fold.
Thus far, he has been a formidable bulwark for Dean Smith despite the Villans enduring a few teething problems in their readjustment to life in the top-flight; and he will no doubt prove a valuable option for Southgate, with his aerial dominance and preferred left-foot offering a unique blend.
Loser: Middling clubs
No doubt over the years some England managers have opted to include players in their squads based on status alone rather than club form, and while Southgate at times has appeared to buck that trend, he has also proven susceptible to swimming with the tide.
Some would argue that Jesse Lingard hasn’t vindicated an inclusion in this 23-man squad based on early season form, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has started just once in the league for Jurgen Klopp this term.
Elsewhere, it took Wan-Bissaka a move to Man Utd for him to finally receive a call-up despite flourishing with Crystal Palace last season as well as Trippier offering some less than convincing performances in a Spurs shirt.
But, most of all, Ashley Barnes may feel aggrieved not to have earned a first inclusion; a marksman who notched 12 league goals last season, offers something different, and has already bagged four this time round.
Considering the likes of Dominic Solanke and Tammy Abraham have three caps between them despite only scoring a combined six PL goals when they received their caps is telling. Charlie Austin clearly wasn’t impressed with the decision either…
— Charlie Austin (@chazaustin10) August 29, 2019
When all is said and done, however, these are exciting times for the Three Lions, and England fans for that matter, as squad announcements these days are no longer set in stone.
There is a certain element of spontaneity about them these days rather than the squad announcements of old when everyone knew exactly who would make the final cut well in advance.
It is also positive for Southgate that the pool appears to be getting larger and more varied, with 74 England-qualified players starting over the weekend, while 83 started on the opening weekend.
Compare that to the record low of 54 from last season, and it’s safe to say the growth has been almost stratospheric, not to mention the overseas players available to England in Jadon Sancho, Trippier, Jonjoe Kenny and Ademola Lookman, while the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are yet to recover from injury.
Loser: Jack Butland
It has been a difficult few weeks for Jack Butland, first gifting Preston North End two goals in Stoke’s 3-1 defeat in the Championship eight days ago, with his double-clanger costing the Potters dearly at the Deepdale Stadium.
As such, he was dropped for the match at the weekend against Leeds United, with Adam Federici taking his place and giving a good account of himself despite the three goal deficit.
And now, he also finds himself out of the international loop, with Nick Pope and Tom Heaton Southgate’s preferred back-up glovemen. His stock has significantly plummeted when you consider he was being heavily linked to Liverpool last summer prior to the arrival of Alisson.