The Three Lions are preparing for a clash with Netherlands on June 6, with a final against either Portugal or Switzerland awaiting the victors
England manager Gareth Southgate has unveiled his 27-man squad ahead of the Three Lions’ UEFA Nations League semi-final against the Netherlands on June 6, with a match with Portugal or Switzerland a few days later.
Southgate mentioned that the increased number of players was down to the amount of unknowns, with nine players in the squad possibly playing in the Champions League final in June, while he also told press at the unveiling: “Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek would have definitely been in this squad”.
With just a few weeks to go before England head out to take on Ronald Koeman’s Dutch side, here is the 27-man squad.
England and Everton number one Jordan Pickford looks to have kept his starting birth after keeping 14 clean sheets in the Premier League this season, whilst Burnley ‘keeper Tom Heaton and Stoke City’s shot-stopper Jack Butland will be solid back-ups.
Heaton was able to get back into Burnley’s starting XI this season after coming back from injury, jumping above Joe Hart and Nick Pope in the goalkeeper pecking order.
Southgate will be spoiled for choice with wing-backs, as Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold and Tottenham duo Kieran Trippier and Danny Rose are all included, while Ben Chilwell’s superb season at Leicester City could see him grab the left wing-back starting role.
Alexander-Arnold played a key role in getting Liverpool to the Champions League final, setting up Divock Origi from a smartly taken corner to get the Reds’ winning goal.
Harry Maguire had a sensational World Cup last year will have been one of the first names on the squad list, especially with his attacking ability on set piece routines.
He is accompanied by Joe Gomez, who has recorded seven clean sheets in 16 league appearances for Liverpool, while Manchester City’s John Stones and Everton centre-back Michael Keane have also been named.
Manchester City fringe player Fabian Delph will be in the squad, with his ability to play in both central midfield and as a wing-back giving Southgate a variety of options on how to best use him.
In the middle of the park, West Ham’s holding midfielder Declan Rice and Spurs’ midfield duo of Eric Dier and Harry Winks have also been named in the squad, while Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse, who merited his spot in the side with seven league goals in 26 appearances, has also been included.
Ross Barkley will link up with the squad after his Chelsea team compete against Arsenal in the Europa League final. The 25-year-old has netted three and assisted five for the Blues in the league, and bagged a brace for himself in their 3-0 friendly win over MLS side New England Revolution.
Dele Alli is another England player who could be in with a shout of lifting both the Nations League and Champions League trophies, as he is named in the squad, as is Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson .
Nathan Redmond is the most surprising call up made by Southgate, and England fans will be curious to see if he makes the final cut to the 23-man squad.
Jesse Lingard has also received a call-up, and he will be hoping that he can put an awful season at Manchester United behind him with a couple of good displays.
Up top, Harry Kane has been named in the squad and is expected to be captain despite fitness concerns over his ankle injury, but with the Spurs striker being the golden boot winner at the World Cup last year, his involvement was guaranteed.
Jadon Sancho , who has lit up the Bundesliga with 11 goals and 14 assists so far this season, will battle it out with Raheem Sterling, who was voted PFA Young Player of the Year this month after racking up 17 goals and 10 assists in the Premier League, for a place in the starting XI.
Marcus Rashford will also be in contention to start, having contributed to 17 Premier League goals this season.
Callum Wilson rounds out the squad, with the 27-year-old being one of Bournemouth’s star players over this last campaign with 14 goals and nine assists in 30 league appearances.
Luke Shaw missing out on the England squad was a big surprise as he had been one of Man United’s better players this season, winning the club’s Player of the Year award .
Southgate believes he has better options in Rose and Chilwell though, telling the press bluntly: “I think Ben Chilwell and Danny Rose have been excellent.
“So at the moment they’re ahead [of Shaw], and they’ve played particularly well for us. They’ve been completely committed to the England shirt and really given everything for the England shirt over the last period of time.”
Aaron Wan-Bissaka is another player that was in with a shout of getting a call up, especially after his defensive performances this season.
Southgate prefers full-backs and wing-backs with more attacking prowess though, and that explains why Alexander-Arnold, who was included in the team of the season, and Trippier, who has had an average season, have been picked over the Crystal Palace man.
Goalkeepers : Butland, Heaton, Pickford
Defenders : Alexander-Arnold, Chilwell, Gomez, Keane, Maguire, Rose, Stones, Trippier,
Midfielders : Alli, Barkley, Delph, Dier, Henderson, Lingard, Redmond, Rice, Ward-Prowse, Winks
Forwards : Kane, Rashford, Sancho, Sterling, Wilson