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Four value alternative selections for England's Euro 2020 squad

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Although we are still all completely engrossed with Premier League action at the moment, soon enough our attention will switch to the forthcoming European Championships. The usual suspects will be present for England at this summer’s tournament (barring any late injuries) but which players, who are currently not nailed on for selection, also have a decent chance of making the squad?

We’ve assessed a number of options below.

Goalkeepers

This is an interesting one, with Tom Heaton set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to a severe knee injury, the back-up keeper’s position is now up for grabs. Indeed, with Jordan Pickford’s wavering form at the moment, there could also be a case built for a new first choice No.1 this summer, though that still remains unlikely. So, aside from Pickford, who stands a chance of making the squad?

Manchester United’s Dean Henderson, who is currently enjoying his second season on loan with Sheffield United this term, has massively impressed for the Blades throughout the previous 19 months. The 22-year-old has won 11 caps for Aidy Boothroyd’s Under-21s, making his progression through to the senior side a seemingly natural transition. Henderson will face stiff competition in the form of Burnley’s Nick Pope for a space in the squad this summer, though, while Southampton’s Alex McCarthy is also enjoying a positive run of form and could prove to be an outside contender for a spot on the plane.

Defence

The likes of Harry Maguire, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ben Chilwell are all guaranteed to feature at this summer’s tournament, with Kieran Trippier, John Stones and Joe Gomez all looking likely to play a part in England’s quest for silverware. But which defenders will Southgate take to bulk out his squad?

Manchester United’s Luke Shaw could be a great shout at odds of 7/2. The 24-year-old has eight senior caps to his name and is playing regularly for the Red Devils this term - unlike Danny Rose, who you would typically view as back-up to Chilwell. That could of course now change with Rose moving to Newcastle on loan from Tottenham, though currently Shaw looks to be in pole position to travel with the squad.

In central defence, Tyrone Mings continues to impress Aston Villa. The 26-year-old’s rise to Premier League stardom has been well documented in recent years, and in 2019 he hit new heights after earning his first ever international call-up. The issue surrounding Mings has always been the fact that he is injury-prone, the very thing which hindered his career with former club Bournemouth. But, now he is fit and playing regularly, he looks to be a really top player and at odds of 6/5, we think he’s a shoo-in for selection this summer (fitness dependent).

Midfield

England are blessed with an array of top class midfield options at the moment. It’s exciting, really exciting, but who would you start against Croatia on June 14th? Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson has to line-up in that all-important holding role protecting the back four, while it is likely that either West Ham’s Declan Rice or Tottenham’s Harry Winks will start alongside him. Eric Dier hasn’t been as effective as he has been in the past this season, so it looks unlikely that he will feature at Euro 2020.

The same can be said for Chelsea’s Ross Barkley, who has made just nine league starts for the Blues this time out, scoring and assisting precisely 0 goals throughout those matches. This leaves a fierce competition for spaces, with the likes of Mason Mount, James Maddison, Dele Alli, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Ward-Prowse all vying for a spot in the Three Lions’ midfield. Each have individual qualities working in their favour, but the one man who is impressing the most this season has to be Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish.

The 24-year-old has scored nine goals and chipped in with seven assists for the Villans in all competitions this term, and is the main reason that they currently find themselves with their heads (just about) above water in the top-flight. Grealish is yet to earn a senior England call-up, but that surely has to change this summer based on his performances so far. He has been a star in an otherwise extremely mediocre Aston Villa side this season; imagine what he’d be like alongside England’s best footballers at the Euro’s? He’s 4/6 to make the squad this summer, which is still a very appetising price.

Attack

Here it is then, the business end. The most important players for England at the Euro’s will be the forwards, with Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling and Jadon Sancho all certainties to be present at the tournament if all are deemed fit enough. Currently, both Kane and Rashford find themselves sidelined with respective hamstring and back complaints, while Abraham is also ruled out with a more short-term looking ankle injury. All three are being tipped to recover in time for this summer’s tournament, however, so fingers crossed that remains the case.

Even still, there could be room for one more striker in Gareth Southgate’s final 23-man squad, with several players vying for the opportunity to step-up and be counted for their country. The first of those - and perhaps the most credible - is Southampton’s Danny Ings. The 27-year-old has been a revelation for Saints this season, scoring 16 goals in all competitions - 14 of which have fallen in the Premier League. Ings is third only to Sergio Aguero and Jamie Vardy in the top-flight’s top goalscorer chart after 24 games; should he continue with this riveting form, it’s difficult to begrudge him his chance for England this summer.

Meanwhile, Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin is also currently proving that he is ready to make the step-up from under-21s football. The Toffees marksman has scored 11 league goals this time out and, despite his lack of experience at international level, could be really useful for England at the Euro’s, coming off the substitutes bench in the latter stages to wreak havoc with tiresome defences.

Indeed, Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson has been the man tasked with the third-choice striker duties for England in recent times, though his season has failed to really get going. However, Wilson did manage to break his goalscoring duck in the Premier League against Brighton a fortnight ago, which could well give his campaign the kickstart it so desperately needs.

For us, though, it has to be Ings. His displays for a struggling Southampton side this season have been nothing short of sublime, and England need a tenacious forward who works extremely hard for his team in their squad this summer. Leaving him behind seems like it would prove somewhat of a foolish decision.

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