The FIFA World Cup is two months away and national team managers will use this last international break to fine-tune their squads.
The managers usually don’t have a lot of time to work on their players and often depend on their club’s form. Gareth Southgate will once again lead his England side as prime favourites, given that he has a star-studded squad at his disposal.
But with a talented squad comes the difficult task of choosing the final team that will represent the country. Going by how Europe’s major leagues have started, Sports Brief, takes a look at the top England stars that Southgate might overlook.
1. Trent Alexander-Arnold
The Liverpool fullback has begun the season in a pathetic fashion and has been directly culpable in some of the goals his side has conceded this term. His talent is still intact, as he exhibited in Liverpool’s 9-0 win over Bournemouth.
But at the moment, he will have to outperform Reece James, who’s arguably the world’s best right-back this season. Kyle Walker also ranks ahead of him as his pace and agility will come in handy.
2. Harry Maguire
The Manchester United skipper has been relegated to the bench following the arrival of Lisandro Martinez. Southgate has maintained his faith in him for the Nations League matches, but it will be interesting to see if he keeps his position for Qatar with AC Milan’s Fikayo Tomori, Spurs’ Eric Dier and Arsenal’s Ben White pushing for spots.
3. Mason Mount
The Chelsea star is yet to register a goal contribution this term. His loss of form is part of Chelse’s lacklustre start to the season. Southgate might opt to drop him and go with other forwards of number 10’s such as Jadon Sancho, who has made a positive start this season.
4. Luke Shaw
Like Maguire, Shaw has seen his place in the United’s squad taken over by new signing Tyrell Malacia. Southgate has the options of Kieran Trippier and Ben Chilwell, who’s finding his feet after that dangerous injury last season.
5. Jordan Henderson
Henderson’s lack of pace and dwindling fortunes might see Southgate prefer the likes of Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham. He might benefit from Kalvin Phillips’s recent injury struggles and his proven leadership record, but it’s a long shot.