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Southgate’s Provisional England Squad For Euro 2024

On 21st May 2024, Gareth Southgate named his provisional 33-man squad for Euro 2024. The biggest omissions from his squad were Jordan Henderson and Marcus Rashford, two players with a combined total 141 international appearances. However, these will not be the only players facing disappointment this summer as Southgate must trim his provisional squad to 26 by the June 7th deadline.

Southgate will be pleased that UEFA have opted to increase the squad size to 26, up from 23, but this still means dropping seven players from his provisional squad. Which individuals are likely to face the axe and which may just squeeze in and be part of the squad that travels to Germany? These are the big questions on the mind of most England fans so let us take a look at the safe bets, the genuine hopefuls and those most at risk.

Notable Omissions

Jordan Henderson
Jordan Henderson
Credit: Cosmin Iftode / bigstock

Before digging into who Southgate may stick with from his 33-man squad, we quickly wanted to run through the biggest names that did not make it into the initial list. As mentioned earlier, Jordan Henderson and Marcus Rashford were something of a surprise. Not because either deserves a place mind you, only because they are players Southgate personally likes and has regularly selected despite declining club form. On merit, neither player should have been called up and many England fans are relieved to see this be the case.

Outside of this, Dominic Solanke can consider himself a little unlucky not to make the provisional squad over Ivan Toney. He only has one England cap (claimed in 2017) but he netted 21 goals for Bournemouth this season, 19 of which came in the league, the same number as Ollie Watkins and Phil Foden. Fikayo Tomori is another who can possibly feel a little aggrieved. A hamstring issue did rule him out for two months but he still made 25 league appearances in Serie A and has been back on the pitch since February.

As far as provisional squads go though, this is the least controversial one Southgate has ever named. Very few fans have any complaints with the names the Three Lions boss has selected but this situation may change when it comes to naming his final squad. As for who that may contain, let us take a look now…

Safe Bets

Barring picking up an unlikely serious injury, we would expect the following players to all feature among Southgate’s 26-man squad. For the sake of consistency, we will use the same categories and placement used by England themselves.

Position Players Total
Goalkeepers Jordan Pickford, Aaron Ramsdale 2
Defenders Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire, Joe Gomez, Kieran Trippier, Jarrad Branthwaite 6
Midfielders Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Conor Gallagher, Kobbie Mainoo 5
Forwards Harry Kane, Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka, Cole Palmer, Ollie Watkins 5

By our count that is 18 players who should be fully expecting to be part of the England squad. Most of these come as zero surprise but some you would not have predicted a while back but have become standout options following a fine season. Jarrad Brathwaite and Kobbie Mainoo only have two caps between them but they have been the real standouts for their club this season and look like international quality players.

Solid Chance

The following men are not ones we would consider absolute certainties but they should still be avoiding making any other summer plans. For any of these to miss out, they can consider themselves quite unfortunate.

Position Players Total
Goalkeepers Dean Henderson 1
Defenders Marc Guehi, Luke Shaw 2
Forwards James Maddison, Anthony Gordon, Jack Grealish, Jarrod Bowen, Eberechi Eze 5

Our prediction is that the above eight names will join the initially picked 18 ‘safe bets’ to form Gareth Southgate’s final squad. Dean Henderson should get the nod over Trafford for the third goalkeeping spot, especially having had a good run of games lately. There are fitness concerns over Luke Shaw but with an increased squad size, Southgate can afford to take a chance on him. Shaw, after all, is the squad’s only natural left back and, if fit, he will be a contender for the starting lineup.

Fellow defender Guehi has been solid for club and country for some time and has done nothing worthy of not earning a call-up. Competition for places is more fierce in the forward line but it seems that Gordon, Eze and Bowen will all be rewarded for superb seasons. The trio have been among the best attacking English players in the Premier League and can all bring something a little different to the squad.

James Maddison failed to fully find his feet following a return from a serious ankle injury in January but he has probably done just enough to stay in the squad. Grealish had an even quieter season with Man City, registering just three goals, but his showings for England over the years should be enough to compensate for this.

The Biggest Risks

Southgate will inform seven provisional squad players that they will not be participating in Euro 2024. Our best guess as to who these seven will be are listed below.

Position Players Total
Goalkeepers James Trafford 1
Defenders Lewis Dunk, Ezri Konsa, Jarell Quansah 3
Midfielders Adam Wharton, Curtis Jones 2
Forwards Ivan Toney 1

UEFA rules only dictate that at least three members of the 26-man squad must be goalkeepers. Although Southgate could pick four, doing so is extremely rare and rather needless as all other options have no fitness concerns. This means cutting James Trafford who was a major part of the European U21 Championship winning team last summer, which did not concede a single goal. He has struggled in the Premier League though, so much so that he was dropped by Burnley for the last 10 games of the campaign. Due to this, he cannot feel at all hard done to if/when he is cut.

Elsewhere, Southgate has named eight natural centre-backs and this is a number he will likely trim to five. For the three that will miss out, Dunk, Konsa and the uncapped Quansah appear to be the favourites. Dunk has not enjoyed the best season for Brighton this campaign while Konsa has generally not been preferred over Guehi (two caps versus nine caps).

In midfield, both the uncapped Jones and Wharton were relatively surprise additions to the team. Particularly in Wharton’s case though it was nothing less than he deserved following a stellar campaign at Selhurst Park. Southgate is relatively cautious in his approach though meaning the uncapped 20-year-old may need to wait a bit longer for his chance at a major tournament.

Finally, we have Ivan Toney down as a significant risk. Not taking the Brentford man would leave Southgate with just two natural number nines but Harry Kane is rarely injured and Bowen can cover there as he has often done for West Ham. Toney’s penalty-taking ability is an asset in a knock-out tournament but with only four goals in 17 games since returning from his betting suspension, Southgate may be thinking he cannot rely on him.