With his contract set to run out in December 2024, Gareth Southgate is gearing up for an interesting announcement about England’s squad this coming Thursday.
The Three Lions are slated to face Ukraine in a Euro 2024 qualifier in Poland on September 9. A few days later, on September 12, they’ll tangle with Scotland in a friendly that celebrates the fixture’s 150-year history.
With only four international breaks to go before Southgate reveals his team for next summer’s European Championship in Germany, the pressure is on. This could very well be his swan song, considering his contract expires in late 2024.
Southgate has previously leaned on his reliable favorites, which led England to the Euro 2020 finals and a quarter-final finish at the Qatar World Cup. Notably, the squad has showcased a marked improvement in their style of play under his leadership.
Key Selection Conundrums
The Midfield Conundrum
Jordan Henderson, a long-time stalwart in England’s midfield, has recently made a career switch from Liverpool to Al-Ettifaq in the Saudi Pro League. Southgate has always emphasized the importance of playing at a high level to qualify for the national team. Will this new league transition influence Henderson’s future on the team?
Meanwhile, Kalvin Phillips, who declared his intention to remain with Manchester City, hasn’t yet set foot on the pitch this season for his club. Southgate has warned that players need regular game time at their clubs to stay in contention for the England team. The lack of options for Phillips’ position could, however, offer him a lifeline.
Eberechi Eze, Crystal Palace’s standout attacking midfielder this season, got his first taste of international play during the last camp. It’s likely he could keep his spot and become a serious contender for next summer’s European Championship.
The Maguire Saga
Harry Maguire has found himself at a crossroads. His limited playing time at Manchester United may make him a questionable choice. While he’s the most experienced option for the center-back role, especially with John Stones out due to injury, his club situation could be his Achilles heel. His future in Manchester is also up in the air, and this might be a defining moment for his international career.
The Sterling Factor
Raheem Sterling, another of Southgate’s trusted players, seems set to return to the squad, thanks to his impressive form under new Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino. Though plagued by fitness issues lately, his proven track record makes his inclusion almost a sure bet.
The Youthful Surge
After the England U21 team clinched their first European Championship in nearly four decades, some of the stars from that team could be on Southgate’s radar. Morgan Gibbs-White has been in excellent form for Nottingham Forest, and 23-year-old defender Levi Colwill has earned himself a regular spot at Chelsea. Both players seem poised for a senior team breakthrough.
On the Bubble
Several players are vying for their maiden call-up or a return to the national team. Solly March has been on fire for Brighton, and Lewis Dunk was in fine form before an injury sidelined him. Ben White, James Ward-Prowse, and Jarrod Bowen are also pushing for places, while James Maddison seems a likely candidate to retain his spot, given his superb performances for Tottenham this season.
As Thursday looms, it’s safe to say Gareth Southgate has his work cut out for him. So, fasten your seat belts, soccer fans. We’re in for a wild ride.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Gareth Southgate’s England Squad Selection
When is Gareth Southgate announcing the latest England squad?
Gareth Southgate will unveil the latest England squad on Thursday. The lineup is particularly noteworthy as it precedes an Euro 2024 qualifier against Ukraine and a friendly against Scotland.
Why is this squad announcement significant for Gareth Southgate?
The announcement is crucial because Southgate’s contract as the England manager will expire in December 2024. With only four international breaks left before the European Championship next summer, this could potentially be his last major tournament as the England boss.
Who are some of the key players to watch out for in this squad announcement?
Jordan Henderson, Harry Maguire, and Raheem Sterling are among the key players whose inclusion or exclusion could stir conversation. Henderson has recently transferred to a club in Saudi Arabia, Maguire has seen limited playtime at Manchester United, and Sterling has found renewed form at Chelsea.
Is there a focus on youth development in the England squad?
Yes, the England U21 team recently won their first European Championship in nearly 40 years. Players like Morgan Gibbs-White and Levi Colwill, who performed well in the tournament, could find themselves being considered for the senior team.
What challenges does Southgate face regarding midfield selection?
Southgate has to decide on including Jordan Henderson, who has moved to a less competitive league, and Kalvin Phillips, who hasn’t had much playtime at Manchester City this season. He also has to consider emerging talent like Eberechi Eze.
What could Harry Maguire’s limited playtime at Manchester United mean for his selection?
Harry Maguire’s limited club appearances could pose a dilemma for Southgate. Despite his international experience, his lack of game time could influence whether he makes the squad or not.
How are injuries affecting the squad selection?
What other players are on the fringes of being called up to the squad?
Players like Solly March, Lewis Dunk, Ben White, James Ward-Prowse, and Jarrod Bowen are all pushing for spots in the national team. Their performances in the Premier League could tip the scales in their favor.
More about Gareth Southgate’s England Squad Selection
- Gareth Southgate’s Contract Details
- UEFA Euro 2024 Qualifiers Schedule
- Jordan Henderson