Will Southgate wield the axe?
Gareth Southgate names his latest England squad on Thursday and there are some big players in danger of being left out.
England take on Bulgaria and Kosovo next month in two crucial Euro 2020 qualifiers and there are some familiar faces that could miss out on the international double-header if early season form is anything to go by.
1) Jesse Lingard – Manchester United
Lingard has been a key part of Southgate’s plans since the latter took charge of the national team in November 2016 and the United midfielder played in six games at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where he scored in the 6-1 victory over Panama.
However, the 26-year-old has come under criticism for his performances at the start of the new Premier League season and there have been calls from supporters to drop the Warrington-born star to the bench.
Lingard’s position in England’s squad is under serious threat and his lack of creativity, which has seen him fail to score or register a single assist in 2019, is a huge worry.
2) Jack Butland – Stoke City
This omission from the squad looks all but certain as goalkeeper Butland has been struggling for Stoke in the Championship this term. The 26-year-old made two errors in the 3-1 defeat to Preston recently and was dropped for the following match by manager Nathan Jones.
A summer of uncertainty is said to be a huge reason for the shot-stopper’s drop in level and he looks set to lose his place in England’s squad, with Burnley’s Nick Pope expected to join Everton’s Jordan Pickford and Aston Villa’s Tom Heaton as one of the three keepers.
3) Eric Dier – Tottenham Hotspur
Midfielder Dier slipped down the pecking order at Tottenham last season, making just 18 Premier League starts, and he is yet to feature during the current campaign after being an unused substitute in all three matches.
The 25-year-old has been forced out of the team by the likes of Harry Winks, club-record signing Tanguy Ndombele and Moussa Sissoko, and his lack of playing time means his place in the Three Lions’ set-up is also uncertain.
4) Danny Rose – Tottenham Hotspur
Another Spurs player at risk of missing out on international recognition is left-back Rose. The 29-year-old has started all three league matches this season despite being told by Mauricio Pochettino he could leave this summer.
Although lively coming forward, Rose’s defensive abilities continue to be an issue and is already down the pecking order for England when it comes to left-back options.
Manchester United’s Luke Shaw and Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell are the preferred choices at left-back for Southgate, although Rose could potentially scrape into the squad due to the injury the Foxes star is currently suffering with.
With regards to the players that are pushing for a call-up to the squad, it is expected Leicester midfielder James Maddison will be handed a spot after impressing at the start of the campaign.
Manager Brendan Rodgers has waxed lyrical about the 22-year-old’s ability and he is being tipped to move to one of the bigger English clubs in the not-so-distant future.
Chelsea’s Mason Mount, who spent last season on loan at Championship outfit Derby County, is another set to be included after he scoring two goals in three matches for the Blues.