The TopBinsTalk authors (Brice, Max, and Phil), each predict England’s squad for next summer’s European Championships. Expect surprise inclusions, big names missing, and plenty of young and exciting talent!
Max’s Squad Prediction
Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope
No real surprises here, as these three keepers were expected to be in the squad if the tournament took place this summer. Perhaps the difference between this year and next year is the starting keeper choice. One would expect Dean Henderson to remain at Sheffield United beyond this season, and if he continues his hot form he may well become England’s first choice goalkeeper.
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire, Joe Gomez, Ben White, John Stones, Ben Chilwell, Bukayo Saka, Reece James
England’s right back position is arguably their most complete, with options beyond those listed above. I believe Southgate will opt for the younger options, thus leaving out Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier. He gets a good mix of attacking flair and defensive stability with Arnold, Wan-Bissaka, and James. I went with three because two of those are also comfortable slotting in at central midfield, giving Southgate more options. At center back, Gomez and Maguire are almost certainties barring any injuries, and if Stones can regain his form or seek a new club he should be going too. The surprise pick of mine is Ben White, who I believe will become one of England’s best center backs in the next 12-18 months. At left back, Chilwell retains his place and Bukayo Saka gets picked, as I expect him to push on leaps and bounds from his first season in Arsenal colors.
Midfielders: Jordan Henderson, Kalvin Phillips, Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain, James Maddison, Jack Grealish, Phil Foden
England’s midfield options are rather lopsided, with plenty of choices available in the attacking midfield positions, but less depth in the holding midfield role. Henderson is a mainstay, but one could argue that beyond that, every place is up for grabs. I expect Kalvin Philipps to either thrive for Leeds in the Premier League, or seek a move to a different Premier League club and fare similarly well. Beyond that, Oxlade-Chamberlain’s performances since returning from injury have been encouraging, and if he can avoid injury, he should be in the squad. Grealish, Maddison, and Foden are all flair-type attacking midfielders with a lot of quality capable of providing and scoring goals. One could argue that they are all too similar, but Foden and Grealish can also play on the wings, on the right and left respectively, which should help their cause.
Forwards: Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford, Harry Kane, Danny Ings
Arguably England’s most potent attacking force since the Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen days, this attacking quintet should worry Europe’s elite defenses. England captain Kane is without a doubt on the plane, while Rashford, Sterling, and Sancho are all England mainstays at this point, and will hope to continue scoring goals next season. The final position is certainly up for grabs, but I’ve gone with Danny Ings. It was between him and Tammy Abraham for me, but I believe Chelsea are after a striker and this could greatly reduce Abraham’s game time. I expect Ings to be the main man for Southampton once again next year and continue his hot streak.
Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Maguire, Saka
Sancho, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Foden, Sterling
Just Misses Out: Aaron Ramsdale, Max Aarons, Lewis Dunk, Luke Shaw, Declan Rice, Dele Alli, Mason Mount, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Reiss Nelson, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Mason Greenwood, Tammy Abraham.
Brice’s Squad Prediction:
Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson, Nick Pope, Jordan Pickford
The Keepers are the most straightforward position to pick in terms of who makes the 23-man squad, but picking the order of them is trickier than Neymar at Santos. At the moment I would leave it as it is above with Henderson first choice closely followed by Pope and then Pickford. Jordan Pickford, since starting and starring (the biggest menace to Colombia since Escobar) for England in the last World Cup, has struggled majorly with errors. With another season under their belts I believe either Henderson or Pope will overtake their compatriot. How much value will Southgate place on European experience though? A slightly older Alex McCarthy narrowly misses out after impressing lately for Southampton.
Defenders: TAA, Kyle Walker, Harry Maguire, John Stones, Joe Gomez, Tyrone Mings, Ben Chilwell, Luke Shaw
Right back is the most hotly contested position in this backline with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kyle Walker, Reece James, Kieran Trippier, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka all vying for a place. It will be interesting to see what an extra year of Premier League experience will do for the prospects of young James and Wan-Bissaka. I agree with Phil that he’ll just miss out and that Southgate will stick with experience and take the most senior player of this unit in Kyle Walker, but TAA will pip him to a starting spot.
Midfielders: Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Grealish, James Maddison, Phil Foden, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Dele Alli
As Max just said, England have a plethora of attacking midfielders to choose from and it will be exciting to see the likes of Grealish, Maddison, Foden, Dele, and Ox all fighting for a place in the squad. This is one of the reasons why I’ve predicted that Loftus-Cheek will be included. We saw him in the World Cup and an extra year before the tournament should see him shake off his injury woes and hopefully get back into a Chelsea side that is stacked with young English talent. He has the ability to control the game and replace or play next to Hendo. Contrary to Max and Phil, I don’t think Kalvin Phillips or Declan Rice will be quite ready.
Forwards: Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Tammy Abraham
I’d be absolutely soiling myself if I was an opposing defender coming up against this attacking group. Look at that PACE bruv! This will arguably be the most elite front three in the world by next Summer. Kane will be locked in with Sancho, Sterling, and Rashford fighting for the remaining two places in the XI. Tammy Abraham just beats out Calvert-Lewin and Danny Ings for me. He will provide cover for Kane down the middle.
TAA, Maguire, Gomez, Chilwell
Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Dele Alli
Sancho, Kane, Sterling
Just Misses Out:
Aaron Ramsdale, Alex McCarthy, Aaron Wan Bissaka, Kieran Trippier, Reece James, Lewis Dunk, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice, Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Danny Ings, Mason Greenwood
Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope
Shocker here. Henderson and Pope have been the best two English keepers in the Premier League this season, and Southgate will most likely bring Pickford back to provide some experience in this very young squad. Despite Pickford’s mistakes this season, leading Roy Keane to call him a poor keeper, his ability to spray the ball around better than the sprinklers in my backyard will see him get the nod from Southgate. His experience will provide England’s spine with leadership. If he does mess it up, I suspect Dean Henderson to be a very worthy backup.
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Reece James, Harry Maguire, Joe Gomez, Chris Smalling, Ben White, Bukayo Saka, Ben Chilwell
Call me crazy, but Aaron Wan Bissaka will not be in this squad. The possession-based style England have transitioned to doesn’t suit him as well as it does Reece James. James’ ability going forward and quality of crossing will put him in the squad come this time next year.
My one pick that will be up in the air until the final squad comes out is the fourth center-back position. Maybe John Stones picks it up next season after a major downturn this year. Chris Smalling has been solid as a rock this year since leave Manchester for Rome. I expect them to sign him permanently, and for him to continue his great form into next season, and then into the Euros.
Midfielders: Jordan Henderson, Declan Rice, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Dele Alli, James Maddison, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish
England’s midfield bunch are both exciting and versatile. Aside from Hendo and the Ox, all these players are under the age of 24. With the right combination, Southgate can have perfectly set up with a classic 6, 8, and 10. Declan Rice beats out Kalvin Phillips to be Hendo’s backup, as he’ll prove to be a better facilitator in possession.
Dele Alli will find better form next season and will keep his place in the team, whether he starts or not. I’m a big fan of his creativity in tight spaces, and he’ll provide England with an additional goal threat. With David Silva leaving Manchester City at the end of the season, Foden will show the world he is ready to make the jump to the England senior team.
I’m choosing to add both Maddison and Grealish into the side for two reasons. England’s 4-3-3 puts tremendous creative responsibility on the wingers, so having as many creative players in the squad as possible will be a plus. In addition, Grealish can play both in the middle or on the wing, as England will search to penetrate defense from all area of the pitch. His versatility will be nothing but beneficial for this attacking squad.
Forwards: Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Dominic Calvert-Lewin
This elite attacking group is one of the best, if not the best, in Europe. The emergence of Sancho gives Southgate an additional threat beyond Kane, Sterling, and Rashford. The only question is, who will the final forward be? First and foremost, I think this player will be a striker. With Vardy no longer being an option, players such as Abraham, Greenwood, Ings, and Calvert-Lewin will be given big chances prior to the final squad.
With any combination of Sterling, Sancho, Rashford, and Grealish on the wings, the substitute to Kane throught the middle (if and when he comes out) will be Calvert-Lewin. I expect him to continue making progress leading the line for Everton, and he’ll serve very well as a poacher for England. Calvert-Lewin provides the tall attacking threat other options can’t. Most importantly, he will be comfortable with this role (unlike the electrifying Jamie Vardy, who would have had this spot had he not retired after the World Cup).
Alexander-Arnold, Maguire, Gomez, Chilwell
Sancho, Kane, Sterling
Just Misses Out: Aaron Ramsdale, Tom Heaton, Aaron Wan Bissaka, Kyle Walker, John Stones, Lewis Dunk, Kalvin Phillips, Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Tammy Abraham, Danny Ings, Mason Greenwood