All focus now on Euro 2020 – so who will make Gareth Southgate’s England squad?
England’s full focus turns to this summer’s European Championship and Gareth Southgate’s squad selection after sealing maximum points from March’s World Cup qualifiers.
After beating San Marino 5-0 and winning 2-0 in Albania, Harry Maguire’s late half-volley secured a hard-fought 2-1 win against Poland at an empty Wembley last night.
That was England’s last competitive match until they return to Wembley on June 13 to kick-off Group D against Croatia.
Southgate will name his squad in late May and here The News has taken a look at who is definitely on the England bus for the finals, those holding a ticket and the few waiting at the bus stop just in case.
On the bus: Dean Henderson (Manchester United), Jordan Pickford (Everton) and Nick Pope (Burnley)
At the bus stop: Sam Johnstone (West Brom) and Aaron Ramsdale (Sheffield United)
Jordan Pickford has been first-choice goalkeeper since the 2018 World Cup. Despite some nervy moments at Everton, Southgate has kept faith with the 27-year-old and would have surely started him this month had he not missed out through injury. Nick Pope got the nod in his absence but did not do enough to supplant Pickford. Manchester United’s Dean Henderson will be third man.
On the bus: Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Man United), John Stones (Man City) and Kyle Walker (Man City)
Holding a ticket: Conor Coady (Wolves), Reece James (Chelsea), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Luke Shaw (Man Utd) and Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid)
At the bus stop: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Michael Keane (Everton) and Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan, on loan from Chelsea)
John Stones’ gaffe nearly cost England two points against Poland but Maguire saved his blushes when lashing home late on. The old friends look set to start against Croatia after Southgate returned to a four-man defence this month. Joe Gomez is not expected to be fit for the Euros, with Southgate having to decide what to do about Tyrone Mings and Conor Coady. The pair have impressed on and off the field, plus the latter is used to playing in a back three should Southgate revert to that system in certain games. Versatile Eric Dier can play as centre-back and defensive midfielder but he is not getting regular game time with Tottenham and did not play a minute of these internationals. Luke Shaw has staked his claim to join Ben Chilwell as England’s left-back options over the last 10 days, but the opposite flank will give the manager a bigger headache. Kieran Trippier starred at the World Cup but failed to make a start in March, with Kyle Walker starting two games and Reece James impressing in the other. Then there is Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold waiting in the wings…
On the bus: Phil Foden (Man City), Jack Grealish (Aston Villa), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Mason Mount (Chelsea) and Declan Rice (West Ham)
Holding a ticket: Jesse Lingard (West Ham, on loan from Man Utd), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal) and James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)
At the bus stop: Ross Barkley (Aston Villa), Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), James Maddison (Leicester), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (West Brom, on loan from Arsenal), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool) and Harry Winks (Tottenham)
Portsmouth-born Mason Mount started all three World Cup qualifiers and will be in the squad along with best friend Declan Rice, barring injury. Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson’s groin issue is the only thing that would keep him out of the Euros, with Kalvin Phillips pushing for selection having adapted well to the international stage. Phil Foden’s magic will be unleashed at the Euros and Jack Grealish, who missed March’s meet-up through injury, will surely be selected. James Ward-Prowse and Jesse Lingard did their hopes no harm during these World Cup qualifiers, but superbly-talented 17-year-old Jude Bellingham’s inexperience could see him miss out. Bukayo Saka withdrew from this squad though injury, but interestingly the 19-year-old linked up with the squad at the end of camp and watched the Poland game from the stands.
On the bus: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Man United), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund) and Raheem Sterling (Man City)
At the bus stop: Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa)
Holding a ticket: Tammy Abraham (Chelsea), Harvey Barnes (Leicester), Danny Ings (Southampton), Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea), Mason Greenwood (Manchester United) and Jamie Vardy (Leicester)
England captain Harry Kane is certain to be in the squad, so too Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford if fit. Jadon Sancho, who missed these games with a thigh issue, will surely be in a squad that is likely to see Dominic Calvert-Lewin chosen as back-up to Kane. Ollie Watkins may have nudged himself ahead of Danny Ings and Tammy Abraham if Southgate wants a third out-and-out striker.