Fifa World Cup: predicting England Euro 2020 starting line-up, team, squad under Gareth Southgate
Take a look at some of the young stars that could be on England manager Gareth Southgate’s radar for the 2020 European Championship
Well, that’s it for another two years as far as England’s hopes of bringing football home are concerned – but that’s no reason to stop us immediately getting ahead of ourselves and looking at the European Championship in two years’ time.
Euro 2020 provides England with a great chance to prove that the 2018 World Cup in Russia wasn’t a one off.
Gareth Southgate, who is reportedly in line to extend his contract until the 2020 World Cup in Qatar, has laid the foundations for a bright new Three Lions future.
Continuing the progress that has been made will be crucial if it’s ever to come home, and there are some exciting young prospects in English football that could provide Southgate with that creative X-factor he was missing in Russia.
Developing a squad that has strong options to come off the bench, as well as provide alternative starters, is key to major international tournament success.
So here’s a look at who will be in the mix for England at Euro 2020 (providing they get there, of course – but that’s another matter) or you can scroll all the way down to see our predicted starting line-up.
Jordan Pickford has massively enhanced his reputation in Russia, proving to be one of England’s star men with a string of fine performances and important saves, not least his penalty shoot-out heroics against Colombia.
At 24 he has a chance to cement the position as his own for a decade, and has an excellent chance to continue improving in the style Southgate like to play with Everton manager Marco Silva of a similar mind.
Jack Butland, 25, is a solid deputy for Pickford but will need to find a move to a Premier League club if he is to be considered next season, following Stoke’s relegation.
Nick Pope, 26, is also a good bet to keep his place in the squad, providing he keeps impressing at Burnley.
Southgate has found a winning formula at the back so there is no need for too much change come Euro 2020.
Normally a right back for Manchester City, Kyle Walker did enough to suggest he is good enough to stay at centre back for England. At 28 he is also one of the more senior members of the squad and has crucial trophy-winning experience.
John Stones did himself no harm in Russia but Pep Guardiola still seems a little uncertain on him. Offensively he is a threat, as we saw with his goals against Panama, but he can still improve defensively – time is on his side at 24.
Harry Maguire is reportedly the subject of interest from Manchester United after his marauding displays for England over the last month. The Leicester City man, 25, can be a mainstay for the next two tournaments at least.
Kieran Trippier was a revelation at right wing back and at 27, he should still be a lock for the Euros.
The “Bury Beckham”, as Peter Drury called him on commentary against Croatia (I’m pretty sure no one has ever called him that) has excellent delivery from the right but can still be exposed at the back.
While Ashley Young performed admirably at left wing back in Russia, he won’t stay there much longer at 33, and Ryan Sessegnon should soon take his place.
The Fulham wonder kid is about to show the Premier League what the fuss is all about next season, and at 18 can nail that spot down for over a decade.
Trent Alexander Arnold, 19, is highly rated at Liverpool and his experience in Russia will have only done him good. He should be ready to start challenging Trippier for a starting spot in two years.
Danny Rose has had a tough year with injury costing him his place in the England and Tottenham starting line-ups. Whether the 28-year-old can recover full fitness and form remains to be seen.
Liverpool’s Joe Gomez may very well have been in Russia were it not for an ankle injury ending his season in April. Only 21 and can fill in at centre back or right back.
Other names in the centre-back frame could include Michael Keane, 25, who will be hoping for a better second season at Everton under Silva’s guidance, while Axel Tuanzebe, 20, is highly rated by Jose Mourinho at United.
This is England’s problem area, if Russia 2018 is anything to go by, but thankfully there should soon be some more creativity available to Southgate.
Jordan Henderson proved any remaining doubters he had wrong with some driving displays at the heart if England’s midfielder in Russia.
The problem was that the 28-year-old had little help around him. This was fine against Tunisia and Panama, but he was brutally exposed against Croatia, with Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic bypassing him.
Dele Alli, 22, is already a fine talent but is still developing at Spurs. Showed improved maturity this summer and will be a key man for another decade at least.
Jesse Lingard, 25, didn’t put a foot wrong in Russia and seemingly feeds off proving his doubters wrong. Should be a lock for the squad, but perhaps sometimes better used as an impact player from the bench.
Eric Dier, 24, is also a trusted member of Southgate’s squad whether starting or providing backup, but his lack of game time at Spurs is a concern.
Liverpool’s Adam Lallana could have been in Russia if not for a season blighted by injury, but will be 32 by the time of Euro 2020. His teammate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 24, who also saw his Russia hopes ended by injury, is more likely to be involved.
A lot is expected of Phil Foden at Manchester City, and under Guardiola he is in perfect hands to become a starter for England.
He’s only 18 but was one of the stars of England’s Under-17 World Cup win. Whether he can get enough games in City’s star-studded midfield is an issue.
Southgate put his trust in Ruben Loftus-Cheek, 22, when he could easily have gone for the more experienced Jack Wilshere in Russia. Under Maurizio Sarri, Ruben may get more of a look in at Chelsea, instead of having to go out on loan again, which should help him finally reach the next stage.
Similarly, Lewis Cook, 21, is a terrific prospect at Bournemouth and captained England to victory at the Under-20 World Cup in 2017. He won his first senior cap in March and is earmarked for bigger things.
Harry Winks will also be in the frame. The 22-year-old Spurs star made Southgate sit up and take notice after his performance against Real Madrid in the Champions League, but struggled with an ankle problem after making his England debut against Lithuania in November.
Southgate also knows Nathaniel Chalobah well from his time as England Under-21s manager, and the Watford midfielder, 23, trained with the senior squad before they flew to Russia.
Chelsea prospect Mason Mount, 19, impressed on loan at Vitesse last season where he was named the Dutch club’s player of the year. He was also player of the tournament for England in their Under-19 European Championship success in 2017.
Harry Kane is a lock to continue as captain and the main man up front. It is a frightening thought that at 24 he is yet to hit his peak.
Raheem Sterling received plenty of criticism – some warranted, some not – in Russia but it’s easy to forget he is only 23 and still learning. Potentially a world beater if he can improve his finishing.
Marcus Rashford, 20, should also be ready to stake a claim for a starting spot in two years’ time, but it may depend on whether he gets enough games to develop under Mourinho at United.
The fact that German clubs are looking at young English attacking alent speaks volumes. Alongside Foden, Jadon Sancho is leading the charge of England’s next generation. He’s only 18 but made the bold move to move from City to Borussia Dortmund in January, making eight senior starts.
Ademola Lookman is another young gun on Southgate’s radar. The Everton man, 20, scored five goals in 11 games on loan at RB Leipzig last season, and the German side want to sign him permanently, but Silva surely has plans for him at Everton.
Liverpool’s Rhian Brewster was another star for England in the Under-17 World Cup win and might soon be ready to stake a claim for senior honours.
Also keep an eye on Angel Gomes at United – the 17-year-old has captained England at Under-16, Under-17 and Under-18 levels, and could be set for a breakthrough season.
Predicted England starting line-up for Euro 2020:
Pickford, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Sessegnon, Loftus-Cheek, Henderson, Alli, Sterling, Kane