England wrapped up qualification for Euro 2020 and confirmed their place as winners of Group A. That means the Three Lions will be one of the top six seeds at next summer’s tournament and will get to play all of their group games at Wembley.
This is set to be a huge occasion for the whole country, but with the England squad never looking stronger, better than the one that reached the World Cup semi-finals in 2018, Gareth Southgate has some very tough decisions to make in the coming months on who will make it into his squad.
Some very good talent is set to miss out on the tournament, and although early days, here is who needs to raise their game to get back in contention.
It’s not been a great season for Alli so far, which he would admit as much himself. He looks to be suffering something of a hangover from the previous campaign, which ended in Champions League final disappointment.
Unfortunately for him, competition is rife in the England midfield, who for the first time in a very long while, have a variety of player’s that can operate in the middle third of the pitch. Alli will need a very strong end to the season or he will struggle to make a case for his inclusion.
One of many to play in the ever complex full-back position, he has found himself out of the England squad lately, although Pep Guardiola still trusts him for Manchester City. Southgate has shown a tendency to change his defence and make huge tactical changes if he thinks it will enhance his team and benefit the system. Walker has operated as part of a back three for England before, so his adaptability might save him, but he doesn’t have much time to get back into the squad.
Trippier finds himself in a very similar position to Walker. After a generally poor campaign last season with Tottenham, he fell down the England pecking order and a return looks unlikely, especially with the emergence of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ben Chilwell.
Undoubtedly very gifted, he has been incredibly unfortunate with injuries at crucial times. He possesses an unusual blend of physicality and elegance and could easily play in the heart of the midfield for England, but the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Maddison and Mason Mount are busy making their own headlines in that position and time is against Loftus-Cheek. A big few months lie ahead for him if he is to force his way back from injury and into the squad.
He has been getting the nod to be part of the Three Lions squads, but the competition is only likely to heat up. Tammy Abraham’s rise will only add to his concerns and Jamie Vardy’s decision to retire from international duty probably helped him into the squad in the first place.
Another player to have suffered setbacks to injury, he also needs to get back playing and to a level of form that stands out again for Southgate. But he is already down the pecking order with the emergence of several midfielders that will challenge for his position.