England has always been in the top 5 ranked teams in Europe but has since been inconsistent amongst Europe’s best. Their best finish has been a semi-finals loss in their own backyard and hasn’t seen past the quarter-finals since. England are currently ranked 4th in the world and is 5/1 favorites to win the tournament.
England always boasted some of the best players in the world, and the best players were always selected regardless of form. This method has never worked for them and current manager Gareth Southgate has recognized this. He has brought together one of the youngest teams of recent times and is based purely on form. However, Southgate’s job hasn’t gotten easier as some of England’s brightest have stepped up at the chance of representing at the big stage. Could this finally be their year? Let’s dive into the provisional 33 men selected to represent England at Euro 2021.
England Provisional Squad
Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson (Manchester United), Sam Johnstone (West Bromwich Albion), Jordan Pickford (Everton).
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Conor Coady (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Reece James (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid), Kyle Walker (Manchester City).
Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United), Declan Rice (West Ham United).
Forwards: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Aston Villa), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).
Key Players For England
There has been much debate over the past few seasons about the performances and form of Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, but there haven’t been many to challenge his post until now. Manchester United’s Dean Henderson has been in sensational form and will most likely be the main challenge for the number 1 jersey.
It was give-and-go as to which right-back will be dropped and amazingly Gareth Southgate has chosen three, in Kyle Walker, Reece James, and Trent Alexander-Arnold. Trent has been dropped due to his form at the beginning of the season but has since picked up and helped Liverpool to secure a top-four spot, and would be a key player for Southgate.
Young Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham makes his major tournament debut with Mason Mount who has also been in great form. The young duo will most likely be partnering either with Jordan Henderson or Declan Rice depending on the Liverpool captain’s injury. Mason Mount has impressed this season with Chelsea, including a top performance in the Champions League.
England’s forwards are perhaps their greatest threat, with an arsenal of incredible attackers to choose from. Southgate will have a headache in trying to piece together the perfect recipe for goals with either Sterling and Rashford to partner Harry Kane, or the young Jadon Sancho. Phil Foden and Jack Grealish will have increased Southgate’s problems with their great club form and look to chip in their names to be part of that attack.
Defense is probably Southgate’s greatest issue. Harry Maguire makes the squad but still has to recover from the injury that kept him out of the final run-in for Manchester United. They will closely monitor his fitness, but in Conor Coady and John Stones, England has worthy center halves.
With great power, come great responsibility. Gareth Southgate’s team have the hopes of a nation so used to expecting, but disappointment has become a formality. These young, talented players have a lot of pressure to deal with, something most of them have not yet faced and we’ve seen how pressure gets to the greatest of England players on the big stage.
No doubt England have an exceptional squad, well capable of winning the tournament. Can they beat the likes of France, Belgium or Germany? That is the question. Those teams are well-balanced, versatile and have played together for a while. England will need it’s representatives to step up, and prove why the Premier League is the best in the world. Jordan Henderson, Harry Maguire and Harry Kane will need all of their leadership qualities to come to the fold if they’re to unite this young squad and write their names in English history.
How far do you think England can go this time? Who do you think will be their player of the tournament? Comment below and interact on twitter.
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