Who missed out of Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2020 qualifiers squad?


Gareth Southgate named England’s opening Euro 2020 qualifier squad this week. While Declan Rice was added to the Three Lions team three notable players were missing despite impressive club form.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

The defender has had a breakthrough season playing 30 times this season – (C) Sky Sports

Croydon-born Wan-Bissaka made his breakthrough last season starting in Palace’s 1-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur in front of the home fans. Since then the right-back has played 36 times for Roy Hodgson.

The defender was rushed into the Crystal Palace team following injuries to Joel Ward and Martin Kelly and he’s hardly put a foot wrong since. The defender has helped his side to 11 clean sheets including a draw with Manchester United.

This season the 21-year-old has become the top tackler in the league winning the ball back 109 times for the Eagles this season, he leads Everton’s Idrissa Gueye (108) and Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi (105), the two that have topped it in the previous seasons.

He has received praise from a range of different pundits from all over the globe as they’ve hailed the defenders, tackling, ball interception and many other defensive factors to his game that have made him stand out in a midtable Premier League side.

Playing at right-back Wan-Bissaka has performed to a high level against the so-called top six, which has seen the defender been linked with a move away from Selhurst Park. The Palace youngster has represented DR Congo and England at youth level but is yet to be capped by either.

This was one of the main reasons why the defender was left out of the England squad, as he hasn’t clarified his nationality yet. England boss Southgate claimed it was it would be unfair to pick him saying “I’m not prepared to pick players just to stop the possibility of other countries picking them.”

James Ward-Prowse

Ward-Prowse has scored six goals since new manager Ralph Hasenhüttl joined – (C) Premier League.com

Southampton academy product Ward-Prowse has played 226 games for the red and white striped Premier League side, he’s also been a key part in the south coast battle against the drop since Austrian manager Ralph Hasenhüttl joined in December.

So far this season the midfielder has featured 21 times, he has also scored six goals which have all been since their new manager has arrived, the 24-year’s free-kicks have been able to get the Saints out of a lot of trouble this season.

Most recently Ward-Prowse scored the winner as Southampton came from behind to beat Tottenham, it has been almost a year since the midfielder made his debut for England as he came off the bench for Jake Livermore with seven minutes to spare against Germany.

With the lack of the creative midfielders in the three lions squad for the first two matches of their Euro 2020 campaign, it is a shock that the Saints player hasn’t made it through just on his ability to take set pieces as currently, their options are limited.

Since the 24-year-old was so unfavoured under the previous manager Mark Hughes, it was clear to see why he wasn’t playing for his country at the start of the season. The Welshman gave the academy player seven appearances, but now that he has finally been given a chance he is thriving playing 11 Premier League matches in a row.

Lewis Dunk

Dunk made his England debut last year as he started the Three Lions 3-0 win over USA – (C) The Argus

Brighton defender Dunk has been at the Seagulls for virtually the entire time he has been a football. The exception came as he joined Bristol City for an emergency loan playing three times for the Robins.

The 27-year old has played across the top three tiers of English while playing for the south-coast side, he’s racked up 259 caps for the Premier League side. At 6 foot 2, the defender has been a key part of the side’s battle to stay in the Premier League for the past two years.

Many new players made their full debut or featured for the first time in Wayne Rooney’s testimonial match, which saw England play the USA like the Brighton defender. Other names included Jadon Sancho who made his full debut while Callum Wilson scored and later got subbed off in that match.

Status has been a particular reason in the past that players that play for sides in the bottom half of the Premier League haven’t been able to get a call up to England, though this has changed under Southgate.

This has caused the likes of Dunk a problem because now that he along with many other defenders that were previously overlooked have been given a chance they are competing with some of the best hidden gems from the lower half of the English top flight to get a space.

James Tarkowski who made the cut over him has incredible numbers this season, in fact, when you compare the two players, the Burnley player comes out on top bettering the Brighton player in six key defensive attributes. Those include blocks, tackles, headed clearances and aerial battles won so it is hard to argue with the decision in the end.

Considering two of the players called up to the national side this time around featured during the World Cup it would be hard for Dunk to play even if he did get selected. Harry Maguire and John Stones were the two that featured for the majority of the Three Lions campaign and they almost gained cult status after England reached the Semi-Finals for the first time in 28 years.

Another player that could have been in the running would have been Newcastle United’s Sean Longstaff, the midfielder played four matches in Feburary. That lead to him being nominated for the Feburary player of the month award, though he picked up a knee ligament injury that means he will miss the rest of the season.


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News writer for Prost International, I get out to games but mainly cover EFL and women's football. Found here: https://twitter.com/BrandonPrangell

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