Gareth Southgate will shatter the dreams of seven Euro hopefuls on Tuesday with Trent Alexander-Arnold among those at risk from the axe.
Liverpool defender Alexander-Arnold, Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse, Sheffield United keeper Aaron Ramsdale, Everton defender Ben Godfrey, Brighton centre-back Ben White and Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins are among the players sweating in their places in the final Southgate’s 26-man squad for the European Championship.
After Southgate announced a preliminary 33-man squad last week, he must cut his squad before midnight, leaving him with the difficult prospect of informing the players who have been dropped.
Gareth Southgate will shatter the dreams of seven Euro 2020 hopes on Tuesday
Liverpool fullback Trent Alexander-Arnold is among those at risk from the axe
Ramsdale, Godfrey and White will almost certainly be told they will not be involved in the European Championship, but the England boss faces a difficult decision over the remaining four players he has axed.
All eyes will be on whether Alexander-Arnold will keep his place in the roster for the tournament after being selected as one of four right-backs in the original match.
The defender’s position in Southgate’s European Championship plans was called into question earlier this year when he was surprisingly left out of the squad ahead of the start of England’s World Cup qualifying campaign in April.
Southgate said last week that Alexander-Arnold is still eligible for a place in his last 26, but with Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier and Reece James also named in the preliminary roster, there is doubt England need four recognized right-backs .
Walker and James – who were outstanding in Chelsea’s Champions League final against Manchester City on Saturday – are considered the two leading right-backs.
Southgate is known to have a fierce loyalty to Trippier, who played a key role in helping Atletico Madrid to victory in La Liga last season.
Alexander-Arnold faces a stressful wait to find out if he has been granted a deferment of payment for euros.
The England boss last week insisted that he did not necessarily want to pigeonhole Walker, James, Tripper and Alexander-Arnold as right-backs, indicating their versatility allows them to play in a variety of positions.
Nevertheless, it seems likely that one of the four will be at risk later on Monday.
Elsewhere, Watkins – who scored on his England debut in April – will brace himself for some bad news, while Mason Greenwood, who has not yet met the squad, also faces an anxious wait.
Bukayo Saka, Jesse Lingard and Ward-Prowse are also among the players on the border.
Lingard is hopeful that his tournament experience and attacking prowess will give him the upper hand, while Southgate is aware of having forward-thinking options off the bench as England chases games.
Similarly, Southgate’s concerns in the defensive midfield have abated after Kalvin Phillips returned to full training following the shoulder injury he sustained on the last day of the season, while Jordan Henderson – who has not played since February – signed up for England early. training camp prior to the tournament last week in Middelburg.
Harry Maguire, who faces a race against time to be fit for the England opener against Croatia on June 13 with an ankle injury, has been selected despite concerns over his fitness.
Specialized tech company STATSports had a staff member in the England camp ahead of the European Championship and provided data on all 33 players, which has helped Southgate make his decisions.
“The FA will work closely with the players’ clubs to get data on each individual before they come through the door so they can get a good picture, understand where the players have arrived and then help them,” said STATSports- employee. founder Sean O’Connor. “It is in the interest of both the club and the federation that they fully understand the player’s position at all times to ensure they cross the white line in the best possible form on match day.”
Harry Kane is sure to be mentioned in Southgate’s latest party and the captain, who is only 27, admits to feeling like the older statesmen in the group due to the rich bevy of young talent Southgate has brought in.
‘We have that very good mix. I’m like one of the oldies of the group now – I’m 27, but I feel like I’m 35 in that age group,” said Kane, who also spoke glowingly about Mason Mount, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish and Declan Rice.
“They were great and I really feel like we can do something really special in the summer.”