England manager Gareth Southgate has a difficult couple of months ahead. The 49-year-old is running out of time to select his 23-man squad for this summer’s European Championship.
Southgate certainly has a few tough choices to make ahead of the upcoming tournament, but may just struggle with goalkeeper selection slightly more than the other positions.
The likes of Liverpool duo Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez have undeniably done enough to be involved in June and July, while Leicester’s Ben Chilwell and Manchester United’s Harry Maguire will also be quietly confident that their places are already secured.
In midfield, Southgate has an array of talent to pick from. Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is certain to make the trip, while Leicester midfielder James Maddison also looks to have a key position in the side.
And while injuries to strikers Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford have given the boss a headache over who might have to fill in up front, the number one jersey is seemingly the most challenging dilemma for Southgate.
Everton’s Jordan Pickford was the country’s number one at the last major tournament. The shot-stopper helped England reach the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. But he has come under criticism for his performances for the Toffees this season.
Pickford’s apparent drop in form could open the door up for several other potential keepers. And that includes Sheffield United’s Dean Henderson and Bournemouth’s Aaron Ramsdale.
But there are plenty of others between the sticks who will be aiming for a spot in the squad. Pickford will undoubtedly be keen to retain his shirt. But he may also have to compete with the likes of Burnley’s Nick Pope and Southampton’s Alex McCarthy.
Pope was a part of the squad in Russia, as well as Stoke’s Jack Butland. Aston Villa’s Tom Heaton meanwhile looks set to miss out altogether as he continues his recovery from an ACL injury.
Henderson has been a standout for Chris Wilder’s side in recent months, keeping nine clean sheets in the league. Also on nine is Burnley’s Nick Pope, with both just one behind Liverpool’s Alisson.
Jordan Pickford is currently favourite to be in the squad at 1/14. Pope and Henderson are available at 1/12 and 1/7 respectively.
Ramsdale is currently 9/2 to make the squad, with McCarthy available at 5/1.
Butland is 14/1 recall, with Southampton’s Angus Gunn currently 33/1.
The nation kick-off their Euro 2020 campaign with a repeat of the 2018 World Cup semi-final match against Croatia. Their second opponent is yet to be finalised, with their third group game coming against Czech Republic. All three will take place at Wembley.