Gareth Southgate’s provisional England squad is out, and while you can’t make everyone happy, we’ve got to learn to love it. 26 of those 33 men will be going to the Euros whether we like it or not.
With that squad in mind, we at 90min had a go at picking the starting XI we’d like to see on show this summer. Unlike Southgate, we’ve gone with just one right-back and more than one creative player to share the load. Genius, we know.
Let’s dive right in.
Dean Henderson (GK) – It’s a toss-up with Jordan Pickford, but the Everton man just doesn’t inspire enough confidence. We’ve gone for Henderson, but this could well have been Nick Pope if he was fit.
Kyle Walker (RB) – Kieran Trippier has been excellent with Atletico, but Walker has the added bonus of being part of Pep Guardiola’s mass rotation plans towards the end of the season. He’s probably feeling fresher than most.
Harry Maguire (CB) – If we’re not taking Fikayo Tomori or Ezri Konsa, there isn’t much genuine competition at centre-back. Maguire is battling an ankle injury, but if he shakes it off in time, he’s our man.
John Stones (CB) – Here’s something we never thought we’d say… Stones has been one of the Premier League‘s top defenders over the past season and waltzes into this team with ease.
Declan Rice (DM) – Like Southgate, we’re also going for two DMs, but we’re planning on using them in a system which doesn’t ask them to be the primary creators too. Rice can focus on his defending and pick out the odd worldie pass as and when it’s necessary.
Jordan Henderson (DM) – If Henderson is healthy, he’s a must in midfield. His ability to recover and recycle possession is excellent and his leadership only works in his favour.
Jadon Sancho (RM) – Do we really need to explain why a guy who just racked up 16 goals and 21 assists in the Bundesliga is part of our starting lineup?
Mason Mount (AM) – Mount created more goalscoring chances than any other Englishman last season (only Bruno Fernandes created more in the Premier League). Factor in his energy, pressing and ability to carry the ball and you’ve got an undisputed starter.
Phil Foden (LM) – The only debate about Foden is where to play him. He might flourish in a central role but he’s just been so damn good as a winger for Man City that he has to feature here.
Harry Kane (ST) – Obviously. As the only striker in the squad to have managed more than a whopping four goals at international level, Kane might need to do some carrying this summer.