England’s EURO 2020 squad, predictions for next summer’s tournament

Gareth Southgate has an unenviable job of picking England’s EURO 2020 squad. The final tournament will not take place until next summer. However, we are going to have a go at selecting the 23-man squad that Southgate should bring to EURO 2020.

We have already attempted to do Mick McCarthy’s job with our Ireland squad predictions for EURO 2020.

England unsurprisingly sit at the top of EURO 2020 qualification group A at the time of writing this piece. Though England are perennial underachievers at international level, they tend to qualify for major tournaments. England have qualified for 7 of the last 8 European Championships. England’s only failed European Championship qualification campaign in the past 31 years, came in 2008, under Steve McClaren.

Unless England have a monumental collapse in their final EURO 2020 qualification matches, they will compete in the tournament. England fans tend to have excessively high expectations for their national team in major tournaments. Many associated with the England team down the years have pointed to expectation as a negative force on the team.

The FA
“High expectations heap pressure on the players and I’ve felt that before” – Rio Ferdinand. Image source – TheFA.com

The 2018 World Cup may have been the only time in recent memory that an England team entered into a major competition without any real expectation on them to go and win the tournament. Ironically, England went on to reach the semi-finals of the competition. This was their best performance in a major tournament since reaching the semi-finals of EURO 1996.

The lack of scrutiny and the overall positive atmosphere around Southgate’s young, exciting England team was refreshing for England fans. The days of club rivalries and uncompromising devotion to outdated tactics overshadowing the national team appeared to become a thing of the past. 

England’s impressive performance at the 2018 World Cup will inevitably increase expectations for EURO 2020. The quality of English football clubs such as Manchester City and the European champions Liverpool will also boost hope. 

Expectation will test players like Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane and one of Europe’s hottest prospects, Jadon Sancho. These England stars will undoubtedly soon feel the full weight of a nation on their shoulders. All three of these players are excellent at club level. They will be expected to bring nothing less to the national stage, now that they’ve shown what they can do.

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Harry Kane captained England at the 2018 World Cup. Image source – TheFA.com

Selecting the right players in England’s 23-man squad will be a tough task for Gareth Southgate. It is inevitable that the coach will not keep everyone happy. There will always be controversial decisions involved with selecting the England team. Big names will inevitably be left out, and hot prospects will inevitably be forced to wait for their chance.

Luckily, our 23-man England squad isn’t the one that counts. However, we have put together the best 23-man England squad that we believe should go to EURO 2020. Save for any unexpected injuries before the competition, this is the squad that we believe Gareth Southgate should choose.

Goalkeepers

Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope, Dean Henderson

Everton’s Jordan Pickford has cemented himself as England’s number one. He has started all of England’s competitive matches since the beginning of the 2018 World Cup. Pickford hasn’t been in excellent form over the past few seasons. However, no England goalkeeper looks ready to take his place in the net at the moment. We feel that he will keep his place for EURO 2020. 

Nick Pope, when fit, has been a reliable back-up goalkeeper for England under Gareth Southgate. Pope has been starting consistently for Burnley this season. We believe that his performances warrant his place in the England team. 

England’s third-choice goalkeeper is a more difficult selection. For England’s most recent games, 22-year-old Dean Henderson has been drafted into the squad. Experienced goalkeeper Tom Heaton has also been used by Gareth Southgate. 

This season, England’s best goalkeeper in the Premier League may actually be Bournemouth’s Aaron Ramsdale. Ramsdale has made more saves than any other English goalkeeper, with 27 in total from 8 games. Ramsdale has also proven himself decent with the ball at his feet this season. 

The 21-year-old has made 63 accurate short passes in his first 8 Premier League games. He trails only Jordan Pickford in this category. Ramsdale may warrant the place in the team. However, we are going with Dean Henderson as our pick. Henderson, at 22, has graduated from the England U-21 side. Ramsdale appears to have taken his place in the England youth team.

Henderson may be looked at as a future England goalkeeper. He would benefit greatly from the experience of being a part of England’s EURO 2020 team. We feel that he should be England’s third-choice goalkeeper at EURO 2020. 

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Henderson has impressed in his debut Premier League season. Image source – SkySports.com

Defenders

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kyle Walker, Harry Maguire, Fikayo Tomori, Lewis Dunk, John Stones, Danny Rose, Ben Chilwell

England’s right-back selections are difficult to narrow down. Gareth Southgate himself has called the position “arguably (their) most competitive position on the pitch.” 

We have made our selections with England’s style-of-play in mind. We are going with Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold and Manchester City’s Kyle Walker. Alexander-Arnold is one of the best creative right-backs in the world. He has made 28 key passes from his first 8 Premier League games this season. He should be England’s first-choice right-back for EURO 2020. 

Meanwhile, Kyle Walker offers cover for Southgate in a number of positions. Southgate deployed Walker as a center-back at the 2018 World Cup. We feel that his versatility will be useful for Southgate’s EURO 2020 squad. 

Danny Rose and Ben Chilwell are our selections for England’s left-back position. Both players have had a decent start to the Premier League season. Either one of the two could realistically earn a starting place in Southgate’s EURO 2020 team by the end of the season. 

Harry Maguire, Fikayo Tomori, John Stones, and Lewis Dunk are our center-back selections. Maguire has cemented himself as England’s number one center-back under Gareth Southgate. He has played in all of England’s competitive games since their final 2018 World Cup qualifier except for one. He will likely be in England’s backline at EURO 2020. 

Chelsea’s Fikayo Tomori has made an immediate impact in his debut Premier League season. Tomori has proven himself to be comfortable on the ball at the highest level this season. The 21-year-old has made more successful tackles per game than any other English Premier League center-back this season. We feel that if he keeps his performance levels up, he will make the EURO 2020 England squad. 

John Stones has been struggling with long patches of poor form and injury issues over the past few seasons. However, due to Manchester City’s injury issues at center-back, he will likely get plenty of game time this season. We feel that Stones will likely earn himself a place in the England squad. 

Lewis Dunk has been impressive in his first 8 games in the 2019/20 Premier League season. Dunk has made more interceptions than any other England center-back this season, with 17. He has also made the second-most accurate passes of any England center-back this season. He will make a strong case for a place in the England squad next summer. 

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Lewis Dunk has just one England cap. Image source – TheFA.com

Midfielders

Jordan Henderson, Declan Rice, James Maddison, Mason Mount, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Jack Grealish 

We have selected six midfielders for England’s EURO 2020 squad. We anticipate that England will play a 4-3-3 system, with one holding midfielder, at EURO 2020. This leaves 2 players for each position in the England midfield. 

Declan Rice and Jordan Henderson are our two selections for England’s holding midfielder position at EURO 2020. 

Rice has been a part of every England squad since making his decision to play international football for England earlier this year. He has made more successful tackles than any other English top-flight midfielder this season. He has also played the second-highest amount of accurate long-balls of any English midfielder this season. We feel that he will likely make the England squad. 

Henderson has been a regular member of the England squad since 2014. The Liverpool captain has been a consistently reliable squad member for both club and country. He will likely be a part of England’s EURO 2020 squad. 

Mason Mount has made an impressive start to his Premier League career. The creative Chelsea midfielder has scored four goals from his first eight Premier League games. Should he stay in-form, he may start in England’s EURO 2020 squad. 

We believe that James Maddison should partner Mount in England’s midfield at EURO 2020. Maddison has proven himself as a quality attacking-midfielder over the past year. He was one of the Premier League’s most effective creative midfielders last season, with 7 goals and 7 assists. If he stays on form this season, he should be a part of England’s EURO 2020 squad. 

We are leaving Ross Barkley out of our squad, in favor of his Chelsea teammate Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Loftus-Cheek has been more productive than Barkley in recent seasons, despite playing fewer minutes. Last season Loftus-Cheek scored 10 goals and made 5 assists for Chelsea in all competitions. He played a total of 1702 minutes. 

Meanwhile, Barkley scored 5 goals and made 6 assists despite playing more than 300 more minutes. We feel that Loftus-Cheek may get more opportunities this season, once he returns from injury. If he impresses, he should be in Southgate’s plans. 

Our final selection for England’s EURO 2020 squad is Jack Grealish. Grealish is yet to make his England debut. However, he has been one of the best English midfielders in the Premier League this season. 

Grealish has made more successful dribbles and key passes than any other English center-midfielder this season. We feel that his performances warrant a place in England’s EURO 2020 squad, next summer. 

Forwards

Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Tammy Abraham, Callum Hudson-Odoi 

Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, and Jadon Sancho are likely to form England’s front 3 at EURO 2020. Sancho has made more assists than any other English attacker this season. England fans are waiting to see him break into the national team permanently. Sancho is likely to cement himself as a starter for England before EURO 2020. 

Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane have been two of England’s most consistent attackers in recent seasons. Both are world-class players who will not be left out of the England team if fit. 

Marcus Rashford has been a regular member of the England team since 2016. The 21-year-old has been enduring a spell of poor form this season. However, his versatility and experience will be valuable to Southgate’s squad. 

Tammy Abraham has been England’s in-form attacker this season. Abraham is The Premier League’s top scorer, scoring 8 goals in 7 starts, this season. He will likely earn a place in next summer’s England squad. 

Our final selection for England’s EURO 2020 squad is Callum Hudson-Odoi. At 19-years-old, Hudson-Odoi would be the youngest member of the England team for next summer’s tournament. However, we believe that he will likely earn a place in the squad. 

Hudson-Odoi has just returned from an injury which has kept him out for the start of the season. However, he has already impressed in his brief couple of performances. He has averaged more key-passes per game already than any other England attacker this season. 

We believe that Hudson-Odoi could be set for a breakthrough season at Chelsea. We believe that he will earn a place in England’s EURO 2020 squad next summer.

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