Southgate left with plenty of decisions to make
With England’s Euro 2020 opening round of qualifying matches upcoming, speculation over Gareth Southgate’s selection of the squad is rising ahead of his announcement tomorrow.
Recent poor form from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has left doubts over whether he shall retain his place between the sticks, including a bad display in a 3-2 loss to Newcastle on Saturday which saw him concede a penalty and taunt the Magpies’ fans when his side were 2-0 up.
This has led to Stoke City keeper Jack Butland being in contention to receive a place in the 23-man squad, with Burnley’s Tom Heaton and Southampton’s Alex McCarthy hopeful of gaining caps at Pickford’s expense.
Competition for the left-back position is also fierce, with Danny Rose, Ben Chilwell and Luke Shaw all battling to ensure they start against Czech Republic and Montenegro respectively.
Southgate’s decision to turn his focus towards the future of the Three Lions has reduced veteran Ashley Young’s chances of a call, however the 33-year-old is still hopeful of continuing to play for his country after a successful 2018 World Cup campaign,
“I’m still available if Gareth wants to call upon me. I’ve always said that I’ll stay available, I’ve just got to give my all for Man United and if he calls upon me, then I’ll be delighted”, Young told Press Association Sport.
Over at right-back, World Cup hero Kieran Trippier is doubtful after being absent for Tottenham’s 2-1 loss against Southampton due to a gluteal strain, resulting in Liverpool youngster Trent Alexander-Arnold being the favourite to be selected by Southgate.
Dele Alli is expected to receive a call-up, as he looks to make a full recovery after seven weeks out from a hamstring strain.
England’s assistant manager Steve Holland was at St. Mary’s to witness Alli provide an assist for forward Harry Kane who is set to lead the front line, but Watford target man Troy Deeney’s form has increased the possibility of him achieving his first cap at 30 years old.
James Ward-Prowse has reappeared on the national team’s radar, scoring an outstanding free-kick to further ruin Spurs’ title chances, which could reward him with his second call up two years after his first.
After having his national allegiances decision approved by FIFA, Declan Rice will be available for selection after opting to represent England despite making three friendly appearances for The Republic of Ireland.