England Euro 2024 squad: Who’s on the plane, who’s in contention and who has work to do?

Time is running out for England players to impress manager Gareth Southgate and win a place in his squad for Euro 2024.

England will play Slovenia, Denmark and Serbia in Group C when they begin their quest to win the tournament in Germany this summer.

Southgate’s side topped their qualifying group without defeat and are one of the favourites to lift the trophy in Germany on 14 July, given their recent record in major tournaments and the outstanding form of their attacking players this season including Harry Kane, Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden.

But there are now just a few weeks of club football before the manager decides on his provisional squad on 21 May, and there remains fierce competition for what looks set to be 26 places at the tournament.

Here is a closer look at who is heading to the Euros, and who might miss out.

Gareth Southgate has plenty of options in midfield and attack going into the Euros (Getty Images)

On the plane

Jordan Pickford

The Everton goalkeeper has been England’s No 1 for a long time and that position is safe – despite a poor error in the recent friendly against Belgium – particularly given the way his closest challenger, Aaron Ramsdale, has been usurped by David Raya at Arsenal.

John Stones

The Manchester City defender has been a stalwart for Southgate over the years, integral to deep runs at the 2018 World Cup and the last Euros, and the lack of centre-back alternatives only strengthens his position in the squad. Stones has struggled for fitness at times this season and picked up another injury against Belgium, but is back and available for City again.

Stones in action against Brazil at Wembley (The FA via Getty Images)

Harry Maguire

The Manchester United defender is one of Southgate’s most trusted players and he remains the most likely partner for Stones at Euro 2024, in what will be their fourth tournament together. A lack of playing time for his club had brought scepticism from fans and the media about his role this summer, but Maguire has re-established himself in Erik ten Hag’s first team.

Kyle Walker

Experience, recovery pace and an ability to play on the right of a back three all make the Manchester City defender an essential part of Southgate’s plans. Only Kane and Harry Maguire have won more than Walker’s 61 caps since the manager took charge in 2016.

Kieran Trippier

One of Southgate’s favourites, Trippier is a certainty to be part of the squad for his experience, versatility and his set-piece delivery. His form for Newcastle this season has not been to his typical high standards but it’s not enough of an issue to stop him going to Germany this summer, where he will cover both right-back and left-back.

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Alexander-Arnold has previously struggled to get games for England at right-back, but a switch into midfield has seen him more involved for England. The Liverpool vice-captain offers unique creativity as well as pinpoint set-piece delivery, and could begin the Euros alongside Rice as a deep-lying midfielder.

Jude Bellingham

The 20-year-old has quickly elevated himself to be one of England’s essential players. He is consistently producing outstanding performances both for his country and his club, Real Madrid, racking up goals and assists after driving runs from midfield. Southgate likes Bellingham as a No 10 off Kane, and this could be the start of a fruitful partnership between England’s current captain and his likely successor.

Bellingham scored England’s late equaliser against Belgium (The FA via Getty Images)

Declan Rice

Rice has made an excellent adjustment to life at Arsenal, and his importance at international level has grown immeasurably over the past few years to the point where he is crucial to how England play. After Kane, Rice is arguably England’s hardest player to replace.

Phil Foden

Foden is having his best season yet in a Manchester City shirt, becoming a talisman for the club that delivers time and again. He will be 24 when the Euros come around and is becoming increasingly essential to Pep Guardiola’s City team, as well as England. His velcro control is unique in the national squad and Southgate’s only conundrum is where to fit Foden’s attacking talents into a team containing Bellingham, Bukayo Saka and more.

Bukayo Saka

Saka is fast becoming a senior England player despite being only 22, and already has 11 goals from his 32 caps. He is having another excellent season for Arsenal and is first choice on England’s right wing, while his ability to fill in as an attacking wing-back is handy for a manager who likes to chop and change systems.

Harry Kane

England’s captain remains their talisman on the pitch, both with his leadership and with his goals as he continues to add to his record tally in his debut season at Bayern Munich. The 30-year-old has recovered well after an ankle injury ruled him out of the March internationals.

Kane picked up an injury playing for Bayern Munich (Getty Images)

Nearly there

Aaron Ramsdale

The goalkeeper has lost his battle for a starting place at Arsenal with David Raya, but even so, he is likely to go to the Euros as Pickford’s deputy.

Ben Chilwell

The Chelsea left-back didn’t play a single minute at the last Euros and watched on as Shaw (and occasionally Trippier) filled that spot. Chilwell should travel to the tournament again and may be more involved this time, given Luke Shaw’s injury troubles, even if he was a little unconvincing during the March friendlies.

Jordan Henderson

The midfielder was booed by England fans in last year’s internationals at Wembley following his move to the Saudi Pro League but that only seemed to strengthen Southgate’s loyalties to the player. The manager values Henderson’s professionalism, experience and leadership in a youthful squad, and his push for a place on the plane could be boosted by his return to European football with Ajax. There are not many obvious deputies for Rice in the holding role and that plays in Henderson’s favour.

Kobbie Mainoo

Mainoo has had an impressive breakthrough year at Manchester United after graduating from the academy, and the teenager reproduced that form in his first senior start for England against Belgium. Given the lack of midfield options, Mainoo may well have played himself into the Euros squad – and indeed the starting XI.

Mainoo is congratulated by Gareth Southgate after his performance against Belgium (The FA via Getty Images)

James Maddison

The midfielder struggled with an injury at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which prevented him from making an appearance, but his form for Tottenham has demanded a place in recent squads and Maddison is poised to travel as both a deputy to Bellingham in the No 10 role and a creator who can also play as an attacking No 8.

Cole Palmer

The player racing up the outside is Chelsea’s Cole Palmer, who is now a talisman on the pitch for Mauricio Pochettino’s Blues. Palmer’s touch, creativity and eye for goal have all been on display this season as he competes for the Premier League Golden Boot. He has two caps but a minor injury scuppered his chances of showing what he can do during March’s internationals. Four goals against Everton in April underlined the point: on form, Palmer has to be on the plane.

In contention

Lewis Dunk

Brighton’s captain had to wait five years for his second international cap, but has enjoyed a flurry of chances under Southgate in recent months. Dunk’s aerial dominance and ball-playing ability, honed at Brighton under Roberto De Zerbi, are valuable traits at centre-half, one of England’s most uncertain positions. But a costly mistake against Belgium raised fresh doubts over his ability to step up to international football.

Joe Gomez

The 26-year-old defender has been a regular fixture in the Liverpool side since early December and his versatility could help earn a place in the England squad, with the ability to cover at both centre-back and full-back.

Conor Gallagher

Gallagher has been bright and energetic in his cluster of England caps and is clearly valued by the manager, and seems to have done enough to usurp more well-established internationals. Regular starts for Chelsea this season have pushed his chances to selected for the Euros in a position where England lack depth.

Anthony Gordon

The Newcastle winger is enjoying a fine season at St James’ Park and his flurry of goal involvements make a compelling case. Gordon earned his senior debut against Brazil and looked sharp, and the increase in tournament squad size from 23 players to 26 could play into his favour in a competitive area of the pitch.

Anthony Gordon started the March friendly against Brazil (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Wire)

Jarrod Bowen

Bowen is having an excellent season for West Ham and showed bright attacking intent in his five England caps to date. On form he has earnt a place, but what may count against Bowen is that he is a left footed winger who likes to cut in from the right – a role which Saka, Foden and Palmer can all fill.

Marcus Rashford

The Manchester United forward is the third-highest goalscorer of the Southgate era, with 16, behind only Kane and Raheem Sterling. His pace and direct runs towards goal from the left wing complement Kane’s preference to drop deep and link play, and he can also offer an option as a No 9 should it be needed. But his poor club form this season has raised questions while others like Palmer, Gordon and Bowen push for places – will Southgate keep faith?

Ollie Watkins

Watkins makes a strong case to play the role of Kane’s deputy at the Euros, with a consistent stream of goals and assists since Unai Emery took over at Aston Villa. His Premier League goal involvements this season are near the top of the charts and make him increasingly difficult to ignore. But he faces competition from…

Ivan Toney

The Brentford striker has returned from a betting ban with some goals to put himself back in Southgate’s thoughts, and he earned an immediate recall to the squad for March’s friendlies where he scored a penalty against Belgium. Toney is an expert from the spot and England will probably need to win a shootout along the way if they are to win the Euros. What’s more, his physicality as a No 9 is well suited to how the team play and would complement runners from midfield.

Given Uefa is set to increase squads to 26 players, Southgate may opt to take both Watkins and Toney to Germany.

Toney scores from the spot against Belgium (The FA via Getty Images)

Work to do

Dean Henderson

Henderson has been standing in for the injured Sam Johnstone at Crystal Palace, and could now fill his spot as England’s third-choice goalkeeper at the Euros if he can put together a solid run of form until the end of the season.

Marc Guehi

The Palace defender is highly rated by the England coaching team and, at 23, could be a future cornerstone of the back line. Centre-back is a position that’s up for grabs at Euro 2024 and Guehi has a real chance, especially after recent starts in qualifying. But a recent knee injury required surgery and Guehi must prove his fitness before tournament.

Ezri Konsa

Konsa is a vital part of an impressive Aston Villa team under Unai Emery but he did not win a first senior cap after his first international call-up in November. He did OK against Brazil after another call-up to the squad, but needs a strong finish to the season to edge out his defensive rivals.

Luke Shaw

When fit, Shaw is the preferred left-back in this England team, bringing attacking threat on the overlap as well as long-standing relationships with both Maguire and Rashford at Manchester United. But he has spent most of this season out with a leg injury and his latest hamstring strain is set to keep him out until May. With Chilwell and Trippier as viable alternatives, Shaw may struggle to regain his Euros place even if he recovers in time, with Southgate saying he is “touch and go” to make the Euros.

Kalvin Phillips

Phillips is another firm favourite with the England manager but has not shown his best over the past 18 months. His red card for West Ham brought criticism and he needs to improve quickly to be assured of a place at the Euros. Then again, the lack of competition in England’s midfield, combined with the trust he has already built up with Southgate over the past two tournaments, means Phillips could well fight his way into the final squad.

Phillips joined West Ham on loan from Manchester City in January (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Wire)

Jack Grealish

The City winger took time earning Southgate’s approval but, at 28 and with a treble on his CV, he has been a regular squad member when fit. However, a lack of consistent game time for City will be a concern for the England manager in what is a competitive part of the pitch. Grealish needs a run of games to finish the season and earn his place.

Outside bets

James Trafford

The Burnley keeper and England Under-21 international was called up to the senior squad following the injury to Johnstone, even though he had been dropped by club manager Vincent Kompany. Trafford may need to win back his place at Burnley in order to earn a spot at the Euros.

Jack Butland

Given England’s lack of depth in the goalkeeping position, a recall for the 30-year-old Butland is unlikely but not out of the question after an impressive season so far for Rangers.

Ben White

The Arsenal defender left the 2022 World Cup for personal reasons and has not returned to the England setup. Southgate revealed that White “doesn’t want to be considered for England squads at this time”, and it seems unlikely the right-back will change his mind before the Euros.

Ben White has turned down his latest England call-up (Steven Paston/PA) (PA Archive)

Jarrad Branthwaite

The Everton centre-half has been impressive all season at the heart of Sean Dyche’s defence, with composure on the ball that belies his 21 years. But Branthwaite did not get the chance to make his England debut after receiving his first senior England call up for March’s friendlies, and seems to be down the pecking order.

Levi Colwill

The Chelsea defender has established himself in Mauricio Pochettino’s team and has the ability to play both centre-back and left-back. Aged 20, this tournament may come just too soon with more experienced players ahead of him.

Reece James

The full-back is one of the best in the world when in full flight but his lack of consistent fitness is a concern. What’s more, James is fighting for a place against a competitive field of Walker, Trippier and Alexander-Arnold. He needs to return with a strong run of performances to finish the season – it may already be too late.

Rico Lewis

The versatile Manchester City teenager was promoted from the Under-21s to the senior squad for March’s friendly match with Belgium, and could be an option should Southgate face any more injury problems at full-back.

Adam Wharton

The Crystal Palace midfielder has seamlessly fitted into Palace’s team after a £22.5million move from Blackburn in January, and has filled an important role that was missing in Oliver Glasner’s team. The defensive midfield position is also somewhere England lack competition but this tournament may have come a bit too early for the 20-year-old.

Harvey Elliott

The Liverpool midfielder offers balance with his left foot and a rare confidence to demand possession and dictate the game’s rhythm. A scintillating display against Tottenham showed his outrageous potential to dominate games too, but Euro 2024 might just come too soon.

Raheem Sterling

The Chelsea winger has not been involved in recent camps and faces a fight against Foden, Rashford, Grealish and Gordon to figure on the left side of England’s attack in the manager’s preferred formation. Sterling’s form this term has shown signs of promise, but it is unlikely he will earn a recall now.

Dominic Solanke

The Bournemouth striker has been sensational in what is proving to be the best season of his career to date. The 26-year-old has matured into a sharp No 9 and he is in contention for Euro 2024, but Toney and Watkins are the front-runners to join Kane in what will probably be only two or three out-and-out striker berths in the final squad.

Predicting England’s Euro 2024 squad

Goalkeepers: Pickford, Ramsdale, Henderson.

Defenders: Walker, Trippier, Gomez, Stones, Dunk, Maguire, Guehi, Chilwell.

Midfielders: Rice, Mainoo, Henderson, Alexander-Arnold, Gallagher, Maddison, Bellingham.

Forwards: Saka, Foden, Palmer, Gordon, Rashford, Watkins, Kane, Toney.

When is the squad announced?

Southgate is scheduled to announce a ‘training squad’ on Tuesday 21 May, two days after the Premier League season concludes. The size of the squad has not been confirmed but it is likely to be bigger than the 26 allowed for the tournament itself.

England will play warm-up matches against Bosnia and Herzegovina on 3 June and Iceland on 6 June, before the final 26-player squad has to be confirmed by Sunday 8 June.

When do the Euros begin?

Euro 2024 begins on Friday 14 June when Germany take on Scotland in Munich.

England play Serbia in Gelsenkirchen the following night, before games against fellow Group C opponents Denmark and Slovenia.

Take a look at the full schedule here.

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