Euro 2020 is not far away now.
The second biggest tournament in international football kicks off on June 11 and it promises to be a treat for lovers of the sport.
England are one of the big favourites to lift the trophy in July and after taking one look at the players available to manager Gareth Southgate, it’s easy to understand why.
The Three Lions are blessed with talent in virtually every area of the pitch and competition is especially fierce for the attacking roles in Southgate’s side.
It makes picking an England XI for Euro 2020 mighty difficult, but former Manchester City defender Micah Richards has now offered his opinion on a debate that will rage on until the start of the tournament.
He’s picked a very eye-catching team and you can check out the 32-year-old’s selection below, per Daily Mail.
GK: Jordan Pickford (Everton)
Richards has opted for Pickford over Nick Pope, which is fair enough given the Everton man’s experience on the international stage.
RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
He may not be part of Southgate’s current squad, but Richards wants Liverpool’s creative right-back to start over the likes of Reece James, Kyle Waker and Kieran Trippier. Interesting…
CB: John Stones (Manchester City)
No questions about this pick. Stones has been one of the best defenders in Europe this season and is pretty much guaranteed to start for England at Euro 2020.
CB: Harry Maguire (Manchester United)
Like Stones, Maguire is a no-brainer. Yes, he’s prone to the odd error, but the United captain is a brilliant centre-back on his day and a huge threat from set-pieces.
LB: Luke Shaw (Manchester United)
After his renaissance at United in 2020/21, Richards has selected Shaw over Ben Chilwell. To be honest, most England fans – aside from those affiliated with Chelsea – would do the same right now.
CDM: Jordan Henderson (Liverpool)
If he’s fully fit, Liverpool’s captain and leader has to start for England at Euro 2020. It’s as simple as that really.
CM: Mason Mount (Chelsea)
Now things are getting interesting. Instead of selecting a second defensive-minded midfielder like Declan Rice, Richards has picked Mount in a slightly deeper role. The Chelsea man’s work rate is up there with the very best, so it’s a position we can see him thriving in for the Three Lions.
CM: Phil Foden (Manchester City)
Mount and Foden as a deep-lying creative midfield duo? Richards knows exactly what England fans want. Foden has proven at City this season that he’s more than capable of thriving in a deeper role and the 20-year-old should be handed the opportunity to do so on the international stage.
RW: Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
Jadon Sancho is brilliant, but Sterling is still firmly ahead of him in the England pecking order and deservedly so. When he’s at his best, the City winger is one of the best players on the planet.
ST: Harry Kane (Tottenham)
England’s captain has enjoyed an incredible 2020/21, scoring 17 goals and contributing 13 assists in the Premier League. If Kane didn’t start at Euro 2020, there would be uproar.
LW: Jack Grealish (Aston Villa)
Villa’s talisman has earned the right to be one of England’s main men at a major tournament. Grealish, Mount and Foden in the same XI is a proposal from Richards that Southgate should certainly consider for this summer’s action.