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England have a huge opportunity to win a first-ever European Championships this summer, as Gareth Southgate plans to build on his side’s 2018 World Cup campaign with another solid tournament display.
It’s been a long, hard domestic campaign but now attention immediately switches to what the Three Lions can achieve with what has often been touted as one of the best England squads in a generation.
There are so many exciting options, especially in midfield, for Southgate to utilise and there is real hope that whoever gets the nod will make the country proud.
While all the talk is about which seven players will miss out in Gareth Southgate’s final squad selection for Euro 2020, we’ve taken a look at which seven players could be key in England wrapping up the Euros for the first-ever time…
The Man United stopper isn’t England’s No.1 one, but he should be.
Jordan Pickford has had his critics over the last few years due to a handful of questionable performances for Everton, and while he played an important role for the Three Lions at the World Cup three years ago, It could be argued that he’s not the strongest shot-stopper we’ve got.
Dean Henderson, on the other hand, is in the process of rubber-stamping his position as Manchester United’s first choice ‘keeper and has barely put a foot wrong for both Sheffield United and the Red Devils over the last two seasons.
He’s also got a decent penalty save ratio in his career so far, which might be a useful tool if we have to endure the nerve-racking experience of a penalty shoot-out. Since making his Football League debut for Grimsby Town in 2016/2017, Henderson has saved four of the 15 penalties he’s faced, which is a save percentage of 26.67 percent.
Had it not been for Ruben Dias’ superb debut season in England for Manchester City, John Stones would’ve surely been spoken of as a potential Player of the Season.
The England international was a key component of England’s run to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals three years ago and has since become a reliable part of City’s rock-hard defensive unit.
With four goals in 22 Premier League appearances this season, all coming via set-pieces, Stones has the potential to be a huge threat from dead-ball situations this summer, as he was in Russia.
He’s one of the form defenders going into this tournament for the Three Lions and we expect him to play a big role in providing Southgate’s men with flawless protection at the back.
It has been a season to forget at club level for Alexander-Arnold, who went from being one of the most threatening attacking forces for Liverpool two years ago to being a bit of a flop in 2020/2021.
However, he began to find some form as Liverpool put together an impressive run of results to finish 3rd in the final few months of the campaign, which is perfect timing to take that into the Euros this summer.
If he can manage to get himself deep inside the opposition half and put dangerous balls into the box for the likes of Harry Kane, it’s fair to say the Liverpool star will be an important part of the Three Lions’ bid for a first-ever Euros triumph.
Lingard has gone from Man United outcast to West Ham cult hero in the space of just six short months and his rebirth as one of the Premier League’s most lethal attacking midfielders has come at the perfect time for England.
Lingard scored nine and assisted four in 16 appearances for the Hammers since January and earned himself a place in Southgate’s England squad back in March as a result, impressing in all three games for the Three Lions.
And while his future at club level isn’t set in stone right now, his current form and new-found attacking confidence threatens to be an England weapon many international defences will dread having to face this summer.
The Man United attacker might be a bit of a left-field choice for many in this England side, especially with the attacking options already available to Gareth Southgate but, when you need a dark horse to surprise the opposition, Greenwood might just be what we’re looking for.
With 12 goals and three assists in all competitions for United this season, Greenwood has just enjoyed the most productive season of his short career to-date, and he has shown on more than one occasion that his stature amongst England’s most exciting young players is growing in the right direction.
He may not be a regular starter this summer, but off the bench, Greenwood could be a threat in the late stages of games and he’ll also provide stiff competition for the squad’s other attackers battling for a place in Southgate’s starting XI.
It took some time for many to get on board with the hype around Declan Rice but this season he’s made even his biggest critics stand to attention, having led the Hammers to their first top-six finish in 22 years.
The 22-year-old hasn’t just become one of the Premier League’s best defensive midfielders over the last couple of years, he’s also Southgate’s first choice in midfield, which is seriously impressive.
Rice’s big presence in deep midfield doesn’t just provide protection for the defence, but he’s also more than capable of making marauding runs forward, as we saw on the final game of the season when he netted to wrap up a 3-0 home win over Southampton.
The youngster has also taken responsibility as West Ham’s first-choice penalty taker this season, which could also come in handy for England.
This wasn’t Mount’s breakout season for Chelsea, but it certainly felt like it given the level of performances he put in for the Blues throughout the campaign.
With 12 goals and seven assists in all competitions, Mount has been a shining light in what was, at times, a difficult year for the west London outfit.
That kind of form will come in handy for Southgate’s attacking plans this summer and, with best mate Declan Rice in the side as his wing-man, Mount’s creative ability and threat in front of goal could be the difference for England’s chances at this summer’s Euros.