England left Kosovo on Sunday evening knowing qualification forEuro 2020was done and dusted, pulled off with both ease and style.
Gareth Southgate‘s side lost only one fixture in their group campaign, but picked apart opponents in blistering fashion and scored a beyond impressive 37 goals along the way.
With the Three Lions squad looking stronger than ever before, Southgate has some seriously tough decisions to make in the coming months. Top talent will be left without a seat on the plane, soSportsmailtakes a look into who could be getting the unfortunate phone call.
In the coming months Gareth Southgate has some big calls to make on his England squad
Why he may miss out:It’s not been a great season for Alli so far, and he would admit as much himself. The dynamic midfielder looks to be experiencing something of a hangover from the previous campaign, which ended in Champions League final heartache.
Unfortunately for the Spurs man, competition is rife in the England midfield. For the first time in a very long period, England have a variety of operators in the middle third of the pitch who have very versatile and adaptable games. Should he not recapture his best form soon, Alli will struggle to make a case for himself.
Why he should go:When he’s on top of his game the 23 -year-old is one of the most exciting midfielders in the world. It’s important to remember Alli is still only young, despite having been at the top level for quite some time. Links with Real Madrid don’t just appear out of nowhere, you have to be made of something special.
Alli needs to rediscover his click with Harry Kane, and an upturn in domestic form with Tottenham would surely help with this. Southgate will not have once considered giving up on the former MK Dons starlet, simply because he has the potential to offer so much.
Dele Alli’s form has fallen off considerable in the last 12 months and his place is under threat
Why he may miss out:The first player of many in the ever complex full-back conundrum. Walker has found himself out of the England squad of late, despite still being trusted at Manchester City by Pep Guardiola.
Southgate has shown before he has a tendency to switch up his defense, and will not shirk away from huge tactical changes if he believes it will enhance his team and benefit the system.
Why he should go:Walker is one of the most experienced full-backs in elite level football, and despite soon to be entering the twilight of his career is still a remarkable athlete.
At the 2018 World Cup Walker all but sacrificed himself and adapted his position so as to meet Southgate’s requirements and slot into a back three. The marauding City man is, of course, much more lethal – and comfortable – when bombing down the wing on the overlap.
Unfortunately for him, however, England now have several other stars who also relish doing exactly that.
Kyle Walker has the big game experience, but has been placed on the sidelines by Southgate
Why he may miss out:Atletico Madrid’s English amigo finds himself in a very similar position to Walker – the man he once replaced at both club and country level.
After a generally poor campaign last season, Trippier drifted down the England pecking order and a return looked unlikely. Although a very competent defender in his own right, Trippier made a name for himself with his dead-ball ability and fizzing crosses – mirroring that of national icon David Beckham.
With the emergence of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ben Chilwell, however, the Three Lions now have younger full-backs coming through with very similar skill-sets.
Why he should go:A well considered move to Spain however has paid dividends, with Trippier a man reborn under Diego Simeone in Madrid.
Southgate noted this, and included the 29 – year-old in the very next international squad, following his transfer.
Despite the array of exciting full-backs England currently have to pick from, Trippier can be a real player of value when on form. Tournament football, of course, is unpredictable by nature and seems to be over in an instant. If Trippier can therefore step up and somehow guarantee the kind of form he produced at the Russia World Cup, he would be hard to turn down.
After experiencing something of a rebirth in Spain, Kieran Trippier will be hoping he is picked
Why he may miss out:Much hype surrounded Rice after he declared his allegiance to England and was swiftly slotted into Southgate’s plans.
On paper, the West Ham tackler was just what the Three Lions were crying out for. An athletic, composed midfield general sitting just ahead of the back line, sniffing out danger and providing around-the-clock protection.
But recent weeks have seen Rice come off the boil, no pun intended. The 20 – year-old was slammed by Roy Keane following his recent showing against Kosovo, with the former Manchester United bruiser criticizing his positional play and his decision-making when in possession.
Although Keane is known for readily dishing out scathing reviews, few former pros are as well qualified for analysing that particular position on the pitch.
Why he should go:Games vary in international tournaments, and England need to be ready for a whole array of opponents and situations. )
There will come a point, especially in the latter stages should England get there – that matches will become a pure battle. Big tackles, high aggression, bodies on the line. In these kinds of circumstances it will be players like Rice who Southgate will wish to turn to.
Much excitement surrounded Declan Rice’s England call-up but the player has not performed
Why he may miss out:The Chelsea man is undoubtedly very gifted, but a combination of injuries and poor luck have seen him drift into the wilderness.
In Loftus-Cheek, England possess one of the rarest of players, with an unusual blend of physicality and elegance. The Lewisham-born star could readily play in the heart of midfield for Southgate, or just behind the strikers.
Unfortunately for him, however, the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Maddison and the emerging Mason Mount would happily take up these roles.
Big months lie ahead for Loftus-Cheek, who will be desperate to finally earn the label of a bonafide England international, rather than a maybe-man.
Why he should go:Though he still feels like an unpolished diamond, Loftus-Cheek will be 24 in January. He’s still relatively young, of course, but he really needs to kick on and claw himself into that elite bracket.
If he works hard, Loftus-Cheek can provide Southgate with yet another vastly different option in an already flexible midfield. Power and poise will undoubtedly be required by the Three Lions, while the Chelsea man has shown he is more than capable of weighing in with goals.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek has had poor fortunes with a mixture of injuries and his share of bad luck
Why he may miss out:With his club career in doubt, Rose looks to be falling down the pecking order in two places at once.
Tottenham appear to be placing the player out in the cold, as his contract ticks down at White Hart Lane.
It’s certainly not what Southgate wishes to see, especially given how competitive the full- back berths now are at St George’s Park.
Why he should go:Like Trippier and Walker before him, Rose has experience and knows what it means to play for England.
When injury free the 29 – year-old can often become Mr Reliable, and that is a comforting thought for any manager. Perhaps more defensive-minded than other full-backs in the squad, Rose would provide an extra layer of support for the attacking winger ahead of him in Southgate’s system.
With his club situation unclear, Danny Rose’s chances of selection appear to be decreasing
Why he may miss out:The Bournemouth man has been getting the nod in the Three Lions ranks, but competition from here is only likely to heat up.
In truth, despite Wilson’s many talents, his passage into the England squad has arguably been assisted by Jamie Vardy’s decision to step away from international duties.
With England likely to go with a trusted front-three set up at Euro 2020, Wilson will be wary of his chances. Tammy Abraham’s unstoppable rise will only add to his concerns.
Why he should go:Boiling things down to the fundamentals of being a good striker, it all comes down to finishing. And, if there’s one thing Wilson can do very well, it is finish.
Though England’s central talisman is always going to be captain Harry Kane, Wilson provides the option of an orthodox striker coming straight off the bench with a nose for goals and the razor sharp movement to match.
Despite being a reliable front man Callum Wilson will struggle to get into the England front line
Why he may miss out:Injuries have been cruel to the mercurial Chelsea teenager, but he’s now finally back on the pitch and attempting to pick up where he left off.
Southgate has shown faith in the 19 – year-old, but the spark is yet to return. It is, of course, completely understandable, but the pressures to get into the England team of today are greater than ever before.
Hudson-Odoi was trusted to start in the most recent victory over Kosovo, but generally underwhelmed before later being substituted. Every appearance counts as a chance to impress with England, and sadly on this occasion he did not take it.
Why he should go:Along with Jadon Sancho, Hudson-Odoi is one of the most exciting young players England have produced for years.
That alone is not enough to earn a call up to an international tournament, but it’s certainly a good start.
In the one-on-one situation you would often back the pacey Chelsea man to beat his man, which bodes well when you have the likes of Kane’s movement just ahead. England know they have a potential lethal weapon on their hands.
Since returning from injury the exciting Callum Hudson-Odoi is yet to recapture top form
Why he may miss out:Another England star who has been set back with injury, Lingard must quickly get back on the road to top form.
He will have the chances to do that domestically, of course, with Manchester United still desperately searching for inspiration in the Premier League.
It will take something special from Lingard however, with several England midfielders now performing at a much higher level on a consistent basis.
Why he should go:Though he is not short of his critics, Lingard has flair and an ability to pull something from nowhere.
These traits were on show during the 2018 World Cup , but the United playmaker must prove he can do this in an England shirt again, and soon.
Jesse Lingard is not short of critics, but is capable of pulling out special moments for England
Why he may miss out:Given his recent tidy form, it may seem like a harsh inclusion to have Burnley stopper Pope on the list, but the goalkeeping situation for a big tournament is always a curious one.
Though Pope will push Jordan Pickford hard for the No.1 spot, he will also be keeping a mindful eye over his shoulder at the likes of the up-and-coming Dean Henderson, along with his old rival Tom Heaton once he returns from injury.
Why he should go:The 27 – year-old is really coming into his own, and looking like a composed and confident Premier League footballer.
Reliability is a big factor, and Pope has a solid track record. Southgate has both noted and appreciated this.
A clean sheet against Kosovo in the 4-0 victory has done his chances no harm at all. Should he miss out on a place, the Burnley man will likely feel very hard done by.
Nick Pope plays with impressive consistency but will continually be looking over his shoulder