So finally the announcement for the England Euro 2021 squad is hereafter having to wait an extra week due to the Champions League and Europa League Final. Gareth Southgate has now blessed us with the 26 man squad that he will be bringing with him to the tournament.
Some of you may not know but because of COVID-19, they have extended the number of players that you can bring to the tournament and have added additional rules. These rules mean that although Gareth has announced the lineup, he has up until our first game against Croatia to make any changes to the 26 man lineup. However, this can only be amended if a player either has a serious injury or has to self-isolate meaning they would miss the Euro.
Let’s not keep you waiting, here is the 26 man squad and our thoughts on each player:
Table of Contents
Jordan Pickford has always been Gareth Southgate’s number 1 ever since taking up the managerial position with some people believing we have better options in the likes of Nick Pope. However, with Pope injured that allows space for the favourable “Pickers” as Southgate likes to call him. In all fairness, Pickford has always performed well for the 3 lions so we can’t fault him on that. Especially after his penalty save in the 2018 World Cup against Columbia to create one of my favourite memories.
As for Dean Henderson, we haven’t seen him play much for either Southgate or Manchester United this season so it is always a difficult one to judge. However, in his season for Sheffield he was their stand out performer, bringing out big saves and helping get clean sheets. I have always been a big fan of Henderson but he does sometimes have a slight mistake in him like most goalkeepers but he is young and will only improve with time. He will be No 2 behind Pickford so it will be interesting to see if he gets any game time.
I am personally not surprised to see Sam Johnstone in the 26 man squad although, things may have been different had Nick Pope been fit. Johnstone has had a standout season this year with West Brom as he made more saves than any other Premier League goalkeeper. Also made zero errors resulting in conceded goals which is always a big bonus. He also had a lot of work cut out for him as West Brom conceded a total of 76 goals in this campaign. However, many believe this is because of the West Brom defensive line which was an absolute shambles this season, hence the relegation.
Let’s be honest, there is no surprise seeing Kyle Walker in there as he helped contribute towards a Premier League title with Manchester City. As one of the key senior players, he has the pace and technical abilities to match up with anyone on his given day. He may have a bad reputation outside of football but his football ability has never taken a hit and is a reliable figure for both Southgate and Man City. His versatility also makes him a favourite as he can play RB and also slot in as a left-sided CB.
Another Leauge title winner with Atletico Madrid, he has made produced some unbelievable performances for the Spanish side so that is always refreshing. Minus the ban, he faced due to gambling offences from his move away from Tottenham. There is no denying he was a key figure for Diego Simeone’s side playing a total of 27 matches. Trippier, like Walker, is versatile and can play as a modern full-back or wing-back and produces some fine balls across the box.
Although Harry is currently suffering from an ankle ligament injury which may seem him miss out on the Euros. However, Southgate has still picked him anyway as he remains a key figure for the 3 Lions and can hopefully become a match fit in time. Without him, will be a big worry as we will have to rely on our younger defenders with minimal experience in National football. Although, most have performed exceptionally well for their club which is why they are in the lineup. Maguire became an instant hero in the 2018 World Cup in Russia with his ability in the air and his commanding performances so let’s hope he can get fit just in time.
Just like Maguire and Walker, Stones was an instant favourite in the World Cup as he produced some exceptional displays of football. Although his performances dropped straight after the World Cup, we have seen a much better side to him with Manchester City. Resurrecting his defensive career and becoming the other half to the best defensive pairing in the Premier League this season, alongside Ruben Dias. However, there is the worry that he may lose concentration resulting in a slip in his performances but if he can bring his form into the team. He will be a valuable addition to the starting lineup.
2Now, what a comeback this lad has had, from not featuring in the squad for the Euro 2016 or the 2018 World Cup. To now being one of the contenders for the first choice left-back position, that is truly remarkable. All thanks to his unbelievable season with Manchester United, arguably his best season yet and is likely to become United’s player of the season. He has definitely been the most reliable defender for his club and hopefully, he can bring this form into the National squad.
There is no surprise seeing Ben in the England Euro 2021 squad as he continues to impress under Tuchel at Chelsea. Although, upon Tuchel’s arrival he become no 2 at Chelsea behind Marcos Alonso. But there was no denying his ability to chase up and down the wing and perform such a great attacking threat. Chilwell also played a big part in securing the Champions League Cup for Chelsea so it will be interesting to see who Southgate picks as his No 1.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Now Replaced By Ben White)
Not so much a preferred choice for Southgate due to his current performances with the 3 Lions and although in March he was left out of the World Cup Qualifiers. He now sees himself back in with his standout performances for Liverpool, helping them secure 3rd place with many believing it was impossible. He now looks back to his best, defensively and also on the attacking front. By God can he deliver a ball into the box and might just provide England with an extra attacking option with his incredible deliveries.
At just 21 years old, Reece James has just had a season of a lifetime and will no doubt continue to improve. He has always been a favourite under Tuchel and has done a fantastic job in all of the big games. The most noticeable one being against Manchester City for the Champions League Final where he was able to keep Sterling quiet for the whole evening. Let’s hope he can transfer this onto the National stage.
Not the first choice when it comes to our defenders but Mings has made some promising performances for Villa as he led their team to 14 clean sheets. He is also naturally left-footed which is rare within the England team, he also has great leadership qualities and experience at the top level. Sometimes showing a lack of pace, it will be interesting to see how he does against the worlds best attackers.
Conor has always been a willing and determined CB and his lack of pace means he has to be able to read the game well. He has played as a back 3 and a back 4 for Wolves so has great experience and versatility. Although he is a latecomer, making his first international debut at the age of 27, he remains a great defender to have in your team.
Not really anything bad to say about Jude Bellingham and at the age of just 17, he is looking like a promising first-team player already. His move to Borussia Dortmund has paid off massively, becoming one of their key figures this season and has also featured in their Champions League squad. Southgate is a massive fan of Jude’s and it is likely that we will see him used regularly during this Euro campaign and is also tipped to be an England Captain later on in his career.
Jordan Henderson is a great role model and leader to have in the team regardless if it is on the pitch or off. This is one of the main reasons that Southgate has selected him although his injury late on in the season is a worry. His performances have grown massively in the last few years and is arguably one of the most influential players at Liverpool. Southgate will want to use this influence on the squad so hopefully, he can get match fit soon enough.
Let’s just start by saying, what a season Mason Mount has had with Chelsea. With his performances, there is no denying he is one of the brightest young players out there. He deserves his place in the England Euro 2021 squad for sure, as Chelsea’s player of the year, he brings so much with him. His work rate, assists, goals and ingenuity are second to none so I can easily see him becoming a key figure for Southgate in the Internation campaign.
I’ll admit, I am definitely not the biggest fan of Kalvin but I am a nobody and Southgate obviously sees huge potential in him. Kalvin does, however, have a great work rate and his stamina levels are outrageous so I can see why he made the squad. He makes for a good backup behind the others but we can’t see him starting any of the games. He is also suffering from a shoulder injury so there is still concern that he may not make it to the Euro’s but we will have to wait and see.
Declan is yet another midfielder picked that has recently suffered from an injury which casts a little doubt over our midfielders. However, he managed to play the last 3 games for West Ham which is always a promising sign for Southgate. I mean, what a season West Ham had in the Premier League and Declan was a great help in achieving this. He is an all-action midfielder that can do it all with a huge presence in midfield.
Dominic started off the season on fire with Everton and couldn’t stop scoring, even when he made his international debut for England, he continued this fine form. This is why I am not surprised he makes Southgate’s England Euro 2021 squad and beating the likes of Bamford and Danny Ings. He will also be No 2 behind Harry Kane which is no surprise but he is a great backup to have as he has everything you need in a striker. Has great pace, aerial ability, shooting and great strength.
Phil Foden is one of the main talking points with exceptional talent at such a young age and is already proving to be a key figure for Manchester City. At such a young age you wonder how far he can go as he is already a brilliant dribbler and passer who also scores important goals. He is definitely someone Southgate will need in the squad as he brings something different to the attacking lineup.
Now I am extremely excited to see Jack Grealish in the team and hope that his shin holds up for the Euros because he is a rare talent. Grealish is unlike any other footballers and many compare him to a modern-day Paul Gascgoine and there is no surprise there. Jack has had to force himself into the team with Southgate taking ages to see his potential but after his performance against Belgium. There was no denying the Aston Villa captain a place in the squad and in my opinion, he should be in the starting lineup.
There is no way we would be going without Harry Kane up top with his continuation of great form throughout the last few seasons. There is no denying his ability to score and assist goals, coming home with the Golden Boot with the World Cup 2018. However, there is a slight worry that his club future may be hanging over his head but let’s hope he can put this aside and continue his fine form.
Marcus Rashford on his day is always a big threat at such a young age he is a big part of Southgate’s plans. Even at a young age, he is a huge inspiration to everyone on the pitch and off the pitch with his food poverty campaign. He will likely be a starter for most games so let’s hope his performances are better than the last few games he had this season.
Saka is one of the biggest stars right now for Arsenal with his consistent performances and is a versatile young player. Covering both full-back, wing-back and also his preferred position on the wing. He has the great footballing ability with superb crosses and is not afraid to commit defenders and taking them on. He has arguable been the best player for Arsenal this campaign and so if he can continue this form for the 3 Lions then he will be a great addition to the team.
Many regarded Jadon Sancho as a great hope for English football but many young footballers coming through the ranks. Southgate will soon enough be leading a youthful yet exciting team into the tournaments. Coming off another strong season with Borussia Dortmund alongside Jude Bellingham. He is very dangerous with his feet which makes him exciting to watch and ruthless when it comes to a 1 on 1 situation. However, his future may be looming over his head with the potential of joining Manchester United.
Some believe that we have seen the best of Raheem Sterling at only the age of 26 he is the most capped player in the England squad. This just goes to show the faith Southgate has in our youth stars and there is no surprise really. He was dropped by Guardiola towards the end of the season and made a comeback in time for the Champions League Final which he played poorly. On his given day though, he can perform just as well as anyone in the world so we hope he can put in some great performances.