With Euro 2020 postponed until next summer, we take a look at which players could of made Gareth Southgate’s England squad and who would of missed out.
This next fortnight would of seen Southgate and fellow managers of European teams finalising their squads for the tournament, meaning that some players would see hopes of a tournament call-up dashed whilst others celebrated their pan-Europe ticket.
Alas the tournament has now been postponed until next summer because of the Coronavirus pandemic, so we have taken a look at who would have potentially been on an European adventure and who would have been left behind to join the pub parties.
In; Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley), Aaron Ramsdale (Bournemouth)
Out; Dean Henderson (Sheffield United)Embed from Getty Images
If there was an easy area of squad selection for Southgate then it would of surely been the goalkeeper position, because Pickford is England’s established number one despite his inconsistencies for Everton this season and would be a loss for the national team.
Pope meanwhile currently has registered the highest number of clean sheets, high claims and sweeper clearances in the Premier League, which underlines his ability as one of England’s best young goalkeepers and a threat to Pickford’s position.
Third-choice meanwhile is a toughie between Bournemouth’s Aaron Ramsdale and Dean Henderson of Sheffield United, although Ramsdale in my opinion edges it because he has been more involved in the defending and is consistent in the goalkeeping stats unlike Henderson.
Henderson however is more consistent in terms of having conceded the least goals out of the ten first-choice English Premier League goalkeepers, but his goalkeeping distribution still needs improvement compared to Ramsdale.
I therefore believe that Ramsdale would have offered Southgate more choice in terms of goalkeeping styles, although Henderson could of still gone as a training player to help improve his senior international experience.
In; Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid), Ben Chilwell (Leicester), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Fikayo Tomori (Chelsea), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), James Tarkowski (Burnley)
Out; John Stones (Manchester City), Danny Rose (Tottenham)Embed from Getty Images
Defence would of been fairly easy in terms of selection with Stones and Rose both making way due to lack of game time at their clubs, leaving the path clear for Burnley’s James Tarkowski to return given his better overall consistency and game time.
What I particularly like about Tarkowski is his work ethic because he isn’t afraid to defend with his success rate in blocks, clearances and interceptions, which has shown in statistics against other defenders like Gomez and Maguire for example.
Tarkowski therefore would be an ideal replacement within the 23 man squad limit, in turn allowing Mings to play in the left-back position if required without the need to include Rose in the squad and allow for more versatility.
In; Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Declan Rice (West Ham), James Maddison (Leicester), Jack Grealish (Aston Villa), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool)
Out; Fabian Delph (Everton), Ross Barkley (Chelsea), Harry Winks (Tottenham)Embed from Getty Images
With a 23 man squad limit, midfield definitely is the hardest section in my opinion when it comes to selection because it demands players who can play in various positions.
That is why Mount, Maddison, Grealish, Ward-Prowse and Oxlade-Chamberlain would all would be straight in the squad in my opinion, due to their excellent ability to play in a variety of both central and attacking midfield positions this season.
Henderson meanwhile has been consistent for champions-elect, Liverpool in all aspects of his game, making him an obvious central midfield pick because he can drop back if necessary to help out defence like West Ham’s Declan Rice would depending on Southgate’s tactics.
Versatility therefore surely would of had to be a strong factor in Southgate’s mind when considering midfield selection, meaning that Delph, Barkley and Winks would miss out by virtue of less position versatility compared to above selection.
In; Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Tammy Abraham (Chelsea), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Danny Ings (Southampton), Harry Kane (Tottenham)
Out; Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Callum Wilson (Bournemouth)Embed from Getty Images
Abraham, Sancho and Sterling would be straight down on the striker section of the squad list given their fitness, if Southgate had to base squad on when season was halted in March because Kane and Rashford were injured at the time.
I therefore would imagine Southgate opting for Ings ahead of the latter two given his performances for Southampton this season and general fitness, in comparison to Kane and Rashford who were recovering from respective hamstring and back injuries.
Leaving Kane and Rashford out consequently would of been tempting and instead select an experienced striker in Jamie Vardy, despite him stating that he would only return as a last-retort choice when he retired from international duty.
Kane ultimately would have been ready at end of April though for a first-team return so I reckon Southgate would of taken a risk in selecting him, given his quality and role as captain which would of added strong leadership to the squad.
Rashford meanwhile would have got the full summer to sort out his back injury in order to benefit him in the long-term for both club and country, even if his pace would of been a huge miss given his form this season.
Callum Wilson would likely have been another absentee because he has had a quiet season for Bournemouth, making it hard to justify calling up him up ahead of Ings who is in better form out of those who are fully fit.
I would have expected Southgate to continue with his usual 4-3-3 formation which has served him and the team well since the 2018 FIFA World Cup, with room for manoeuvre depending on opposition to a 4-4-2 or a 3-4-3 formation.
In terms of squad selection, there would of been plenty of versatility with Mings capable of switching to left-back if needed, whilst Rice could of dropped into defence if switched from a 4-4-2 to a 5-3-2 with full-backs pushing forward into wing-back positions for example.
This squad therefore could of provided a sense of unpredictability for opposition with their ability to change formation whenever necessary, in order to try and break down their opponents mid match.
Now here is what I think would of been England’s main starting line-up if this summer’s Euros had gone ahead.