Fresh from their valiant run in the 2018 World Cup, England now have their sights set on Euro 2020. With the tournament being concluded at Wembley, Gareth Southgate will surely be aiming for his young and exciting England squad to be there for the final. But just who should be tasked to get them there?
Here, in a 4-3-3 formation, are my picks:
Jordan Pickford (GK)
Arguably one of England’s weakest positions, Jordan Pickford creeps into the starting eleven by virtue of a lack of experience amongst his counterparts. Despite his evident quality, Pickford’s performances have often been riddled with inconsistencies, and he will have to be in top form to prevent the impressive Burnley stopper Nick Pope from taking the starting spot.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (RB)
The 21-year-old fullback strolls into a starting berth, despite England having impressive depth on the right side of defence. A wonderful crosser of the ball, he registered a frankly ridiculous twelve assists from defence in the 2018/19 Premier League season. The proficiency with which he switches between attacking and defensive phases is what makes him the outstanding candidate for this position.
Harry Maguire (CB)
Despite a record-breaking £80 million switch to Manchester United this summer, things haven’t always been smooth for Maguire at club level. Nonetheless, he still remains an imposing figure and provides the squad with an immense aerial advantage from set-pieces.
John Stones (CB)
Perhaps a more contentious choice, Stones has recently fallen out of favour at Guardiola’s Manchester City. Often criticised for making too many mistakes, Southgate will need to work with the 25-year-old so his talents, that led people to see him as one of the most exciting young-prospects in world football, reemerge. Fans will be hoping that Stones’ elegance and composure will perfectly complement Maguire’s power in defence.
Ben Chilwell (LB)
A few years ago, Leicester City’s energetic fullback Ben Chilwell was a relative unknown. However, he has made rapid progress since earning his first international cap in September of 2018. A great attacking asset, Chilwell’s athleticism and ability means he will likely displace established players such as Danny Rose in the starting eleven.
Jordan Henderson (CDM/CM)
An often-criticised figure, but in a midfield roster starved of true quality, Henderson offers invaluable leadership and experience. He will be tasked with organising and structuring the team and keeping his younger counterparts in check, something he excels at.
James Maddison (CAM/CM)
Only receiving his first senior team call up this season, Maddison is another Leicester City player who has made colossal strides in recent years. Directly involved in six goals in the Premier League so far this season, he will almost certainly be competing with Chelsea youngster Mason Mount for a starting spot at attacking midfield.
Harry Winks (CM/CDM)
Another choice that will undoubtedly cause debate, Winks’ inclusion in this starting line-up is due to his talent as a controlling midfielder who can dictate the tempo of the play. He can also engage in defensive activities which enables Maddison to focus on his attacking play.
Marcus Rashford (LW/RW)
A player who at club level is inconsistent, but recently has managed to assuage such criticisms in an England shirt, by scoring three goals in six starts at the qualifiers. If he continues such form, then he should be a crucial component of an intimidating England attacking trident.
Harry Kane (ST)
The captain and one of the few players in the squad to be a definite starter, Kane was the recipient of the Golden Boot at the 2018 World Cup with six goals. He has been consistently scoring at domestic level for Spurs and will be England’s talisman for the foreseeable future.
Raheem Sterling (RW/LW)
In his current form he is England’s best player, no doubt about it. Under Guardiola’s tutelage, he has discovered his scoring edge, and that has transformed him from a promising young prospect to a world-class talent. He will be a guaranteed starter.
Image: Кирилл Венедиктов via Wikimedia Commons