The time has arrived! With the World Cup nearly here, England boss Gareth Southgate has announced his Three Lions squad for the upcoming tournament.
Noting that the international game is more than just an individual player, his 26-man squad has quality cover in all departments.
Here’s who’s made the final cut and who’s unlucky to miss out on their plane ticket…
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The only real debate for the battle of the goalkeepers was whether Southgate would pick two or three for the squad.
But with club football coming thick and fast this season, injuries were always going to be an issue.
Ensuring safety in numbers, Southgate has chosen three goalkeepers for this Winter. England’s number one at the previous tournament, Jordan Pickford, keeps his spot. Alongside him, the towering figure of Nick Pope and athletic Aaron Ramsdale bring different qualities to the trio.
All three will be battling it out to nail down the sole goalkeeping spot in the XI. Who have you got for the number one role?!
Injuries to Chelsea fullbacks Reece James and Ben Chilwell means that Luke Shaw is the only natural left back in the defensive line-up.
However, on the other side of the pitch, England are blessed with a surplus of right backs. In-form Kieran Trippier will fight for his spot against Manchester City’s Kyle Walker and Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold. But with Southgate often opting for a back three or five – depending on how you look at it – Walker could be moved more centrally as he has done in the past.
Out of favour at Manchester United, Harry Maguire gets the nod ahead of AC Milan’s Fikayo Tomori, despite his lack of game time this season.
Eric Dier, John Stones, Ben White and Conor Coady complete the centre back positions.
There are no real surprises in the midfield selection, with a young croup of players spear-headed by the experienced Jordan Henderson.
Euro 2020 final starters Declan Rice, Mason Mount and Kalvin Phillips link up once again. Phillips has only 54 minutes of game time under his belt this season, so Southgate has taken a risk with his inclusion.
Jude Bellingham joins the squad as the only player to ply his trade outside of the Premier League, gaining his reputation at German giants Borussia Dortmund.
Another young talent in midfield, Conor Gallagher’s continued his impressive form at Crystal Palace last year with standout performances for Chelsea since coming back.
The addition of Gallagher has pushed Bellingham’s former midfield partner Jadon Sancho out of the squad. While Southampton’s James Ward Prowse is a notable absentee.
With all eyes on England’s attack this year, Southgate has recalled high-flying striker Callum Wilson as a potential partner for Harry Kane.
Manchester City’s Phil Foden and Jack Grealish are included, while their ex-teammate Raheem Sterling joins the front line.
Whether it comes as a surprise or not, James Maddison gets a well-deserved call up after his electric start to the season in a Leicester side that’s only just starting to find its feet.
Bukayo Saka goes from strength to strength, playing an instrumental role in Arsenal’s form this year.
Finally, having not played since England’s defeat to Italy, Marcus Rashford joins up with the squad after bagging seven goals in all competitions this season.
Brentford’s Ivan Toney will feel hard done by to miss out on the squad, as will West Ham United’s Jarrod Bowen.
What do you think of the World Cup squad? For all the latest Three Lions news, make sure you’re following @jdfootball across our socials this Winter!
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JD Football | November 21, 2023