For any English player worth their salt, it’s a dream for each of them to to get to international tournaments. With Euro 2020 fast approaching, England manager Gareth Southgate is certainly going to have some selection headaches as tens of players contend with just a few places on the plane.
After an impressive run in the 2018 World Cup, England are expected to carry this on based on the Euro 2020 odds as they are one of the pre-tournament favourites. A deep run in such a stacked competition will require top performances from key players such as Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford and Jordan Henderson. The Liverpool captain is likely to feature among the Euro 2020 tips as an inspired display from him in a successful run could easily see him scoop the player of the tournament award, which would be great value at the current price of 40/1.
It’s certainly in the midfield where Southgate will have arguably his biggest headaches with multiple players staking a claim for those central positions. While there may be a couple of nailed-on starters such as Henderson, especially given the experience he provides, other younger options such as Mason Mount and Harry Winks may be viewed as the long term solutions to that central midfield option. For a more creative option, Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish has to be included, as does Leicester’s James Maddison who has proven to be a top-tier Premier League talent this past season.
In defensive midfield, Declan Rice might be viewed as the best option, given his tough-tackling yet technical game that embodies the type of player that works in the modern, high-intensity pressing game. Out wide, there are options a-plenty, but with the likes of Jadon Sancho and the form he’s been in at Borussia Dortmund in recent years, he’s surely at the front of Southgate’s mind, as well as other proven talents such as Raheem Sterling.
On the attacking side of things, the inclusion of players such as Tottenham’s Kane is a given, especially that he’s captain of the side, but behind him, some of the younger players are also pressing for their inclusion in the squad. With the form he’s been in against some of the bigger teams in the division, Ollie Watkins may be worthy of a place, as is the case with Tammy Abraham too, although he may not have the poaching ability that Southgate is really looking for in a striker. Danny Ings might feel that he’s got something to prove as he has come out as one of the Premier League’s top scorers over the last few years and may be a better option than the likes of Abraham and Watkins due to the fact he’s played at a higher level for longer.
If Gareth Southgate can pick the right players, there’s no reason why England can’t do well at Euro 2020. The fact that the semi-finals and the final will be played on home soil at Wembley could play to their advantage and England may finally end 55 years of hurt.