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

A closer look at which England players are heading to Germany for Euro 2024 and who might miss out on the final 23

Lawrence Ostlere
Tuesday 21 November 2023 10:53
Gareth Southgate addresses Jordan Henderson criticism ahead of Euro 2024 qualifier against Italy

England have qualified for Euro 2024 after finishing top of Group C in Uefa qualification and now look ahead to December’s draw.

After a draw with North Macedonia, there are now just two friendlies left until Gareth Southgate decides on his 23 players for Germany.

After a stylish 3-1 win over reigning champions Italy at Wembley Stadium, the Three Lions stumbled past Malta before a 1-1 draw in Skopje thanks to a controversial penalty.

England can look forward to glamour friendlies against Brazil and Belgium next March, but the fierce competition for places will mean form in the Premier League and around Europe will be crucial in the coming months.

Here is a closer look at who is heading to Germany and who might miss out.

On the plane

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. Kane has hit the ground running at Bayern Munich, and the 30-year-old has talked up the virtues of the Bundesliga’s winter break and playing one fewer domestic cup competition. Southgate will hope Kane is fit and fresh when the Euros come around.

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 new 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.

Jude Bellingham has become one of England’s key players

Declan Rice

Rice has made a good start 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.

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. Only Kane and Harry Maguire have won more than Stones’ 56 caps since the manager took charge in 2016, and the lack of centre-back alternatives only strengthens his position in the squad.

Kyle Walker

Experience, recovery pace and ability to play on the right of a back three all make the Manchester City defender an essential part of Southgate’s plans.

Jordan Pickford

The Everton goalkeeper has been England’s No 1 for a long time and that position looks safe, particularly given the challenge Aaron Ramsdale now faces to keep his Arsenal place against competition from new arrival David Raya.

Bukayo Saka

Saka is a popular and trusted member of the current group who is becoming a senior player, with 11 goals in 30 appearances, despite being only 22. His versatility down both the left and right flank, and ability to play as an attacking wing-back, is handy for a manager who likes to chop and change systems.

Bukayo Saka is a sure thing for England’s Euro 2024 squad

Phil Foden

Foden is often still talked about in terms of potential, but he will be 24 when the Euros come around and is becoming increasingly essential to Pep Guardiola’s City team. His velcro control is unique in the England squad and Southgate’s only conundrum is how to fit his best attacking talents into the same team.

Marcus Rashford

The Manchester United forward is the third highest goalscorer of the Southgate era, with 15, 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. Poor club form this term, but there are still months to go to improve that ahead of the Euros.

Jack Grealish

The City winger took time earning Southgate’s trust but, at 28 and with a treble on his CV, is now a regular squad member. The only question is whether the manager sees him as an important part of the first XI or a game-changing finisher off the bench.

Kieran Trippier

One of Southgate’s favourites, Trippier is a certainty to be part of the squad for his experience, versatility to play full-back on both sides and his set-piece delivery. He may find himself on the bench when England play a back four, but tends to start at wing-back when Walker joins the back three.

Harry Maguire

The Manchester United defender is one of Southgate’s most trusted players and he was given another vote of confidence with a start against Italy in Euro 2024 qualifying. A lack of playing time for his club brought scepticism from fans and the media as the tournament nears - but he has re-established his place at Manchester United and looks a cert for the Three Lions once more as a result.

Nearly there

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. He has been out with a leg injury since mid-August and will need to reestablish himself amid competition from Ben Chilwell and Trippier.

Luke Shaw is England’s first choice left-back (Tim Goode/PA)

Kalvin Phillips

Like Maguire at United, Phillips is a firm favourite with the manager but there is a growing issue around his lack of game time for Manchester City. Phillips has admitted he might need to make a decision over his future, but he remains a leading option in a shallow pool of central midfielders and now has plenty of major tournament experience.

James Maddison

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

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. He has been sidelined with a hamstring injury this season but a fit and firing Chilwell should be on the plane.

Jordan Henderson

The midfielder was booed by England fans in recent 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.

Aaron Ramsdale

The goalkeeper is battling for a starting place at Arsenal with David Raya, but Mikel Arteta’s messaging suggests that the Spaniard has arrived to share rather than steal the gloves. He hasn’t had too much game time so far but if he stays involved with the Gunners, he’s likely to be involved with England.

In contention

Raheem Sterling

Southgate has talked up Sterling’s chances of figuring in his plans to the media, but the Chelsea winger has not been involved in recent camps and faces a fight against Rashford and Grealish, among others, to figure on the left side of England’s attack. Another omission from the most recent squad is a concern for him but his form this term has been good.

Sam Johnstone

The Crystal Palace goalkeeper has overtaken Nick Pope in the running to be England’s third-choice goalkeeper and played well in a recent friendly with Australia.

Lewis Dunk

Brighton’s captain had to wait five years for his second international cap but has done well with the opportunities presented to him 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.

Reece James

The full-back is one of the best in the world when fully fit but his lack of reliability is a concern, particularly with the smaller 23-player squad this time around. What’s more, James is fighting for a place against a competitive field of Walker, Trippier and Alexander-Arnold.

Reece James and Ben Chilwell have suffered early season injui

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.

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Has previously struggled to get games for England at right-back but a switch into midfield has seen him more involved. The Liverpool vice-captain is creative and offers both final-third and set-piece delivery, so may see time on the pitch for Southgate as a potential match-winner at times.

Conor Gallagher

Gallagher has been bright and energetic in his cluster of England caps and is clearly valued by the manager, but other central midfielders are well-established internationals who will be tricky to usurp. Regular starts for Chelsea this season certainly push his case.

Ollie Watkins

Watkins is in pole position 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…

Callum Wilson

…But Wilson is not far behind and when the Newcastle striker stays fit, the goals usually flow.

Work to do

Mason Mount

Like Sterling, Mount has found himself pushed out of the England team by emerging talent and his own unconvincing form for new club Manchester United – although injuries have interrupted his season. Needs some goals and assists to earn a recall.

Mason Mount is yet to hit his stride at Manchester United

Fikayo Tomori

Southgate criticised the Milan defender last year for making too many mistakes, but Tomori has shown good form in Serie A and earned an autumn recall to the England squad.

Eberechi Eze

The Palace midfielder has a couple of international caps but will need a stellar season to break into the Euros squad.

James Ward-Prowse

The West Ham midfielder is in form for his club but out of favour for his country, having just missed out on the past two major tournaments and having been excluded from recent squads. There have been calls for him to usurp Henderson in midfield, but Southgate remains as yet unmoved.

Nick Pope

The goalkeeper has lost his place as England’s third-choice keeper and needs a strong season for Newcastle to win back his spot.

Jarrod Bowen

Another West Ham player in form. Bowen has showed bright attacking intent in his five caps to date, but faces stiff competition in the winger roles and despite his call-up most recently, missed out on an appearance due to injury.

Ivan Toney

The Brentford striker will return from a betting ban in January with five months to prove himself to Southgate. He will need to hit the ground running.

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 established players ahead in the pecking order.

Outside bets

Curtis Jones

Liverpool’s 22-year-old midfielder had earned a regular place in Jurgen Klopp’s team earlier this season before injury struck. If he can impress regularly at Anfield, he will give Southgate something to consider.

Curtis Jones has made a promising start to the season (Martin Rickett/PA)

Ben White

The Arsenal defender left the 2022 World Cup for personal reasons and has not returned to the England setup. It is unclear whether White would want to, but continues to perform to a high level for one of the best teams in the Premier League.

Morgan Gibbs-White

Gibbs-White worked up through the England age groups but is still to be recognised at senior level. Played a big part in England’s success at the Under-21 Euros in the summer.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin

Once seen as the natural understudy to Harry Kane, Calvert-Lewin has struggled with form and primarily fitness and has fallen down the pecking order behind Watkins and Wilson.

Ezri Konsa

Konsa is a vital part of an improving Aston Villa team under Unai Emery, but did not win a first senior cap after his first international call-up in November.

Eddie Nketiah

England Under-21s’ record goalscorer has only made one senior appearance so far and he would need a special season for Arsenal to break into the Euro 2024 squad.

Predicting England’s Euro 2024 squad

Goalkeepers: Pickford, Ramsdale, Johnstone.

Defenders: Walker, Alexander-Arnold, Trippier, Guehi, Stones, Dunk, Maguire, Shaw, Chilwell.

Midfielders: Rice, Phillips, Henderson, Maddison, Bellingham.

Forwards: Saka, Foden, Rashford, Grealish, Kane, Watkins.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in