Euro 2020: Decoding the squad of England
England manager Gareth Southgate has named a 26-man squad for the upcoming European Championships after having earlier presented a 33-man provisional squad. There was a lot of talk surrounding Trent Alexander Arnold's selection with the side having numerous options at right-back. However, Southgate included the Liverpool youngster. The Three Lions are placed in Group D alongside Croatia, Czech Republic, and Scotland. Here's more.
Four right-back options for manager Southgate
The England national football team has four right-backs on offer. Besides Alexander-Arnold, they have Kieran Trippier, who won La Liga 2020-21 title with Atletico Madrid. Chelsea's Reece James also made the cut. The youngster played a crucial role in helping the Blues win the Champions League title. Manchester City's Kyle Walker, winner of the Premier League and League Cup trophies is also present.
England take the risk on Henderson and Maguire
Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson has been out of action since February with a groin injury but has been included. On the other hand, there was a berth for Manchester United captain Harry Maguire, who missed the last four league games of the season and the Europa League final following ankle ligament damage. Southgate opined both players are not there in terms of fitness.
England's defensive unit will need to deliver
England are sorted in the wide-back positions with the utmost quality in ranks but if Maguire doesn't make it, the central positions can cause concerns. City's John Stones was superb in the 2020-21 season and is the best option to partner Maguire. However, England will need to turn towards Tyrone Mings or Conor Coady to partner with Stones. Defensively, England need to be focused.
Plenty of versatility in England's mid-field
England will want the experience of Henderson in mid-field. Southgate has players like Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips to do the job. There is teenager Jude Bellingham, who has seen a swift rise in stature. The versatile Mason Mount and playmaker Jack Grealish bring character. England can also look up to Phil Foden in the left of a 4-3-3 formation.
Kane leads the attacking line for England
Harry Kane leads England's attack, having scored 23 goals and making 14 assists in the Premier League 2020-21 season (highest). Dominic Calvert-Lewin is the backup number nine. England's wide attackers can be crucial. Marcus Rashford (21 goals) had a good season for Man United. Jadon Sancho and Raheem Sterling are quality players. Bukayo Saka brings youthful energy. Foden can operate in attack as well.
A look at England's 26-man squad
Goal-keepers: Dean Henderson, Sam Johnstone, Jordan Pickford Defenders: John Stones, Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kyle Walker, Tyrone Mings, Reece James, Conor Coady Ben Chilwell, Kieran Trippier Mid-fielders: Mason Mount, Declan Rice, Jordan Henderson, Jude Bellingham, Kalvin Phillips Forwards: Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Jadon Sancho Bukayo Saka