The Three Lions boss has picked an expanded group with injury concerns surrounding a number of his key players
The Three Lions boss has picked an expanded group with injury concerns surrounding a number of his key players ahead of the tournament next month.
Here, we take a look at the winners and losers ahead of it being trimmed down to 26 players on 1 June.
The signs were not good for Alexander-Arnold when he was left out of the squad for the March friendlies after a drop-off in form for Liverpool. It was a telling omission, having been an important member of the group since making his debut in 2018. The competition for the right-back position is fierce, but a much-improved end to his club season saw Southgate restore him to the squad and he will now aim to avoid the seven-player cull next week.
So important is the midfielder for Southgate that he has been named in the squad, despite having been out since February with a troublesome groin injury. However, he is nearing fitness and the England boss took a gamble after receiving positive medical reports on his condition. Henderson has been a lynchpin of the midfield in recent times and will be a starter if fit.
The 23-year-old is a surprise inclusion in Southgate’s bigger group, but has been rewarded for an impressive season for Brighton which followed a highly successful loan spell at Leeds in 2019/20. He started 36 of 38 Premier League games for the Seagulls and his versatility will be an asset to the Three Lions. He can operate in a back three, back four and also in a holding midfield role.
The Everton defender is another one who can play more than one position across the back line. Godfrey, who joined the Toffees from Norwich last September, enjoyed an impressive season, predominantly in a central role. But he also filled in at right-back and left-back, making him an attractive proposition for Southgate.
Johnstone is a beneficiary of an injury to Nick Pope and gets the call-up as Southgate’s third-choice goalkeeper. The West Brom stopper was certainly kept busy as his side suffered Premier League relegation, but their fate would have been sealed far sooner had it not been for his form. No other keeper in the division made more saves than his 154 and he looked assured.
The Sheffield United goalkeeper gets the call as a fourth goalkeeper after an impressive season in a struggling side. Like Johnstone, he faced plenty of shots playing behind a leaky Blades defence. He has recent tournament experience with the England Under-21s and he will be battling with the Baggies goalkeeper to make it into the 26-man squad.
Lingard would have had no hope of being involved at all until he moved to West Ham on loan in January. That transfer reignited his career as the 28-year-old scored nine goals in 16 games to fire the Hammers to a Europa League spot. He was back in the squad for the March friendlies.
Dier, a hero from the 2018 World Cup, began the season as Southgate’s first-choice centre-back, but has endured a torrid campaign for Tottenham. The 27-year-old, who has won 45 caps, produced a string of goal-costing errors throughout the campaign and a horror show in a 3-1 defeat at Leeds, which Southgate was watching, has sealed his fate.
The Burnley goalkeeper must be cursing his luck as knee surgery has ruled him out of the provisional squad. Pope was certain to be included, having been a regular for the last few seasons and would have battled with Jordan Pickford and Dean Henderson for the gloves. His summer might not be completely over, though, as UEFA rules allow the call-up for an additional goalkeeper in case of injury or illness.
Winks looked a sure-fire bet to be in Southgate’s squad as he started key Nations League games before Christmas. However, the Tottenham midfielder has also paid the price for a disappointing club season, where he was jettisoned from the Premier League squad by Jose Mourinho. He was brought back into the fold by interim boss Ryan Mason but struggled to make a telling impact.
Harry Kane is the only Englishman to score more Premier League goals than Bamford this season, but even netting in front of the watching Southgate has not been enough to turn the manager’s head. The classy 27-year-old bagged 17 times in 38 appearances on Leeds’ brilliant return to the top flight, where he was also excellent in link-up play, but will be watching the tournament from the beach.
Ings scored in a friendly against Wales in the autumn but did not hit the scoring heights of last season, ending with just 13 goals in all competitions for Southampton and did not feature in the most recent squad. He has been linked with a move away from St Mary’s this season and could now concentrate on sealing a possible transfer away from a tournament bubble.
The writing was on the wall for Maddison after Southgate was asked about discipline in the wake of the Leicester playing breaching lockdown rules by attending a party. The England boss is keen to avoid any off-field problems and, playing in a position where England are very strong, Maddison has missed the cut despite an impressive season for Leicester.