England’s final Euro 2024 squad: who will go and who might miss out?

Estimated read time 4 min read


Gareth Southgate is unlikely to drop any major surprises when he hands his final 26-man squad for Euro 2024 to Uefa after England’s game against Iceland on Friday night. Seven players will not make it past this week’s training camp but we can be sure that the casualties are not going to include the key men in attack, Harry Kane, Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden and Jude Bellingham. Further back, Jordan Pickford and Aaron Ramsdale stand above the other goalkeeping contenders, John Stones, Kyle Walker, Marc Guéhi and Kieran Trippier are prominent defensive options and there is no question over Trent Alexander-Arnold, Conor Gallagher, Kobbie Mainoo and Declan Rice in midfield. As for Cole Palmer, he has surely played himself in after a fine goalscoring display in the win over Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Injury doubts

The good thing about a bigger squad is that it gives Southgate a chance to wait for Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw to return to fitness. That said, it is not ideal that he is sweating on two of England’s main defenders. Southgate does not know whether Maguire will be available to start in central defence when England play Serbia in their opening game on 16 June and it would be a calamity if Shaw, the squad’s only recognised left-back, has a setback in his rehabilitation from an injury that has kept him out since February.

There will have to be gambles. England missed Shaw’s dynamism against Bosnia – the right-footed Trippier is a more prosaic option – but is he going to be ready for the intensity of a tournament? A lack of sharpness is a huge concern.


The doubts over Shaw and Maguire should boost Joe Gomez’s chances given that he can play in every position at the back. Ezri Konsa, who was slightly conservative in possession on Monday, is another versatile option and Lewis Dunk, the Brighton centre-back, will be confident of being selected after performing well against Bosnia.

It is about taking opportunities. Jarrod Bowen had another impressive game on the right wing and is training well. Eberechi Eze played with swagger on his first start and offers unpredictability in possession. But competition for places is hotting up. Out of nowhere, Adam Wharton has emerged as a viable candidate for the third midfield spot after coming on for his debut against Bosnia. “He’s got that ability to see a picture,” Southgate said. “I think he showed in that cameo what we’ve seen in training.”

England’s manager Gareth Southgate congratulates midfielder Adam Wharton after his debut.View image in fullscreen

The question is whether Wharton, who was playing in the Championship before joining Crystal Palace in February, has made his case too late. England are not overflowing with deep-lying midfielders, so there is a case for Southgate to tap into an unknown quantity and give himself the option of using Wharton’s progressive passing alongside Rice and Bellingham. In order to make room for the 20-year-old, though, it would probably mean leaving out a couple of more established attacking midfielders.

It’s not easy to call. Southgate is drawn to Anthony Gordon’s directness and work rate on the left. Some of the No 10s and creative players look more vulnerable if Wharton goes. Yet Eze is capable of playing in a deeper role and Southgate has not written off Jack Grealish because of the winger’s difficult season at Manchester City. He will have been pleased that Grealish was full of motivation during his lively cameo against Bosnia.


Signs of Grealish’s spark returning could be bad news for James Maddison, even though the Tottenham midfielder was bright as a substitute on Monday. The emergence of Palmer and Eze has made life harder for Maddison, and the sheer number of versatile creators at Southgate’s disposal will also lessen the chances of space being found for three strikers. Ollie Watkins, who was disappointing against Bosnia, and Ivan Toney, who was an unused substitute, will be feeling nervous; only one of them is likely to be providing backup for Kane. Meanwhile the uncapped Curtis Jones has slipped behind Wharton in midfield, the young centre-backs Jarrad Branthwaite and Jarell Quansah are likely ones for the future and James Trafford is hopeful of being picked ahead of Dean Henderson as the No 3 goalkeeper.

Source: theguardian.com

You May Also Like

More From Author