Football Features

The uncapped England players in the frame for a call up… and those at risk of being dropped

By Harry Edwards

Published: 13:43, 28 August 2019

With the Premier League just getting up to speed, it will soon be time to take a break as international football returns for the new campaign.

After their third-place finish in the Uefa Nations League in June, England must now turn their heads back to qualification for Euro 2020.

Gareth Southgate’s men currently sit top of Group A level with the Czech Republic on six points, having played a game less than their rivals.

Ahead of next month’s international double-header, Southgate is set to announce his newest England squad on Thursday, and once again it is the subject of much conversation among fans.

The new club season has already seen impressive performances from uncapped English stars which will give Southgate a lot to think about for his squad.

So which previously uncapped players are in the frame for a call up, and who is at risk of being dropped?

Who are England playing and when?

England have put themselves in a strong position to qualify with 5-0 and 5-1 victories over Czech Republic and Montenegro respectively in March. And now, Southgate’s men can all-but confirm their place in next year’s European championships with similar results in September.

England vs Bulgaria

Venue: Wembley Stadium

Date: Saturday, 7 September

Kick-off: 5:00 PM BST

England vs Kosovo

Venue: St Mary’s Stadium

Date: Tuesday, 10 September

Kick-off: 7:45 PM BST

Potential call ups

Angus Gunn

Although Jordan Pickford appears to have England’s No.1 spot locked down, there is still place for competition in the squad.

With a recall for the likes of Joe Hart appearing unlikely, it may be time for Southgate to look to the future, with Angus Gunn potentially awaiting his first cap.

The Southampton shot-stopper made 12 appearances for England Under-21s and has shown promising signs in the first three league games for the Saints this season, keeping one clean sheet.

Gunn has also managed eight saves so far this season, keeping out 61.54% of the efforts on Southampton’s goal.

James Maddison

James Maddison of Leicester City goes up against Sheffield United's John Lundstram

Another former regular in the Under-21s side, James Maddison missed out on the Uefa Nations League squad due to his commitments with Aidy Boothroyd’s side.

But Maddison is no longer eligible for the Under-21s and can be expected to earn a second call-up to the senior squad, with a potential first cap on the cards.

The midfielder has quickly moved on from the disappointment of the Under-21 European Championships to start the new season well with Leicester City, already proving himself to be a key player.

Only Kevin De Bruyne (four) has recorded more assists than Maddison’s two in the Premier League, while the Leicester man also sits atop the take-on standings, completing 11.

Tyrone Mings

With John Stones potentially missing out on a place in Southgate’s squad due to injury, there will be space for a centre-back.

After helping Aston Villa return to the Premier League, Tyrone Mings has started the new season in fine defensive form, having made his loan move permanent. No player in the division has made more clearances than Mings this season, with the Villa man on 32 so far.

Unlike anyone else on the list, Mings as not featured for England at any level and a call up would see him represent his country for the first time.

Mason Mount

Although Chelsea had to wait until last weekend to win their first game of the season, some of the Blues’ young stars have received praise for their early performances.

One of those is Mason Mount, who is the Blues’ joint-Premier League top scorer with two goals and has thrived under Frank Lampard both at Derby and Chelsea. Mount has also created seven chances for the Blues so far, three of which have come from open play.

The 20-year-old has previously been called up to the England squad but remained an unused substitute, and could finally get on the pitch for the senior team next month.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

There had previously been calls for Aaron Wan-Bissaka to get a senior England cap while the right-back was at Crystal Palace, though they went unnoticed.

But now the 21-year-old is at Manchester United and no longer eligible for the Under-21 side, it might not be long before we see him in Southgate’s squad.

A fine defensive full-back, Wan-Bissaka can provide a different option to the likes of Kyle Walker and Trent Alexander-Arnold who look certainties to keep their spots. In the Premier League, only Ricardo Pereira (17) has made more tackles than Wan-Bissaka’s 16.

However, Wan-Bissaka may have to contend with Kieran Trippier who has enjoyed a mini revival since move to Atletico Madrid in the summer.

Jack Grealish

The Aston Villa captain has long been tipped to secure a senior cap ever since he switched allegiance and turned his back on the Republic of Ireland.

However, he was overlooked during his spell in the Championship with his hometown club.

Southgate said of Grealish in March: “He’s a player we know all about, he’s a player we track. But that last bit of evidence that could give you confidence to pick him at the moment we won’t see.”

But now the 23-year-old is back in the big time and expected to get plenty of minutes under his belt at the highest level, he may well have got Southgate’s attention once again.

An error at Spurs proved that his concentration levels can still be questionable at times but he will surely be part of the conversation at the very least.

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At risk of being dropped

Jack Butland

Despite his penalty shootout heroics against Leeds United in the Carabao Cup, Jack Butland has endured a tough start to the new season at Stoke City.

The English goalkeeper has proven himself to be error prone, conceding 10 goals in the first four league games of the season and was subsequently dropped for Stoke’s Championship fixture against Leeds at the weekend – which they also lost.

And with the likes of Gunn and Nick Pope circling, Butland could lose his spot in the England squad for the upcoming friendlies.

Fabian Delph

A Southgate favourite, Fabian Delph’s season is yet to get going after a move to Everton.

The midfielder missed the start of the new Premier League campaign through injury and, despite recently returning to fitness, this could have cost him his England spot.

While Delph has been watching on from the sidelines, English midfielders have been proving themselves and the likes of Mount, Winks and Maddison should be ahead of the 29-year-old.

Eric Dier

Like Delph, Eric Dier is yet to feature for his club this season, but the Tottenham Hotspur man’s absence is due to quality.

The 25-year-old has been displaced following the arrival of Tanguy Ndombele at Spurs, watching the first three games of the season from the bench with Mauricio Pochettino preferring a midfield pairing of Ndombele and Harry Winks.

And despite Dier’s use as a utility man, Southgate may have to look elsewhere for his midfield options.

Jesse Lingard

Despite a decent start against Chelsea, Jesse Lingard has underwhelmed at the start of the 2019/20 Premier League season.

The 26-year-old struggled to unlock tough defences against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Crystal Palace, with the latter ending in defeat.

And with the likes of Mount and Maddison turning up in their matches, Lingard could see himself without a spot in Southgate’s latest squad.

Callum Wilson

Callum Wilson enjoyed a fine 2018/19 season, but has not had the best start to the new campaign.

With his place in England squads already peripheral, given the presence of Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford, it feels as though Wilson needs to be performing to keep his spot.

But with Tammy Abraham recently showing his eye for goal at Chelsea, the 21-year-old has been tipped for a call-up to build on his two caps – potentially at the expense of Wilson.