English players all over Europe would have breathed a sigh of relief when it was revealed that UEFA are allowing managers to name an additional three players for their Euro 2020 squads — meaning an increase from the regular 23-man squads to 26.
Of course, the bigger nations will undoubtedly benefit more from the decision as they can now include an extra three talented players who would otherwise have been left at home. England manager Gareth Southgate, who is expected to lead the Three Lions to glory — according to the Euro 2020 odds — will now be pondering over what additional English players to include.
So, with the England squad announcement imminent, let’s take a look at some of the English players who could benefit from the extended squads. Read on to find out more!
Had the Euros taken place last summer as planned, there’s no doubt that Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander Arnold would have been Southgate’s starting right-back. However, the youngster has had his struggles with the Reds this season and his omission from the England squad for the matches back in March rang alarm bells. It now appears that the likes of Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier and Reece James are ahead of Alexander-Arnold, but with three more spaces, he could just squeeze in.
Manchester United striker Mason Greenwood broke into the England fold last September — making his debut against Iceland. However, he was sent home for breaking Covid restrictions and hasn’t been called upon by Southgate since. The 19-year-old has eight goals in his last 11 games for United, and if he can finish the season strongly, he will surely be in with a shout.
Southgate hinted that he could include Ollie Watkins in his Euro 2020 squad when he surprisingly called up the Aston Villa striker for the games against San Marino, Albania and Poland in March, and there’s no doubt that the 25-year-old, who scored on his debut against San Marino, could now benefit from the additional spaces.
Some would argue that the upcoming Euros is too soon for 17-year-old Jude Bellingham. However, with reports that Southgate wants to stick with a core squad of 23 players, the Borussia Dortmund midfielder could be brought along to gain experience for future tournaments. Plus, he has proved in the Bundesliga and the Champions League this season that he is good enough should he be needed for whatever reason.
Likely to be overlooked in a 23-man squad due to competition in midfield from the likes of Mason Mount, Declan Rice and Jack Grealish, Leicester City’s James Maddison will certainly be hoping that he can benefit from the announced increase. The 24-year-old has struggled with injuries this season, but now he’s back to full fitness, he’ll be keeping his fingers crossed for a phone call from Southgate.
Danny Ings earned his first England call-up in five years when he was included in Southgate’s squad for the matches against Iceland and Wales. But injuries have resulted in the 28-year-old missing out on the two squads since. However, with Ings back to full fitness and bagging a couple of goals to round off a good end to the season with Southampton, he could nab a place ahead of England’s other fringe strikers — Watkins and Greenwood included.