England's young guns hoping to break into the Euro 2020 squad
In-form Phil Foden could make the cut, emerging star Jadon Sancho is a certainty and midfield maestro James Maddison is pushing for a spot: The young guns hoping to fight their way into England’s Euro squad
- Jadon Sancho, James Maddison and Tammy Abraham are now tipped for places
- Phil Foden, Mason Mount and Dean Henderson seen their names put in the hat
- But England boss Gareth Southgate can only pick a few for his 23-man squad
- Sportsmail sifted through the youngsters giving him something to think about
- Everything you need to know for the 2020 UEFA European Championship
Gareth Southgate has been left in an enviable position ahead of Euro 2020 – an abundance of talented youngsters chomping at the bit to play.
The likes of Jadon Sancho, James Maddison and Tammy Abraham have lit up the Premier League and Bundesliga and are tipped for places in the squad.
And recent performances from Phil Foden, Mason Mount and Dean Henderson have seen their names chucked in the hat.
But the England manager can only pick a select few for his 23-man squad, with some destined to be disappointed this time around.
Here, Sportsmail has sifted through the young stars who are giving Southgate something to think about and rated their chances of featuring in the Euros.
Calls for Phil Foden to be given a shot in the England squad have been ramped up after an impressive man of the match performance in the Carabao Cup final.
The 19-year-old Manchester City midfielder ran rings around Aston Villa and set up Sergio Aguero’s 20th minute goal.
The teenager shone in front of England assistant Steve Holland at Wembley, while Gareth Southgate sat in for the Everton versus Manchester United game in Merseyside.
Calls increased for Phil Foden to get an England call up after the Carabao Cup final (pictured)
And after the match, Foden made his intentions clear, saying: ‘I want to be there obviously but it’s very difficult with the players that we have.
‘Hopefully, Gareth was watching the final and saw things that he liked. That is all I can do, just show what I can do every time I play and see where it takes me.
‘We haven’t spoken much but Gareth has said in a few places that he is keeping a close eye on me.’
Yet Foden has struggled for regular starts at City, having only featured in ten games this season, but after Sunday’s staring role his fortunes may change.
The Three Lions face Italy and Denmark in two home friendlies over the next international break and Foden could yet become a wildcard option for the summer European Championship.
Euros chance: 7/10
A name on everyone’s lips at the moment is Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho.
After leaving Manchester City for just £8million in August 2017, the 19-year-old has flourished in the Bundesliga and the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea are trying to lure him back to England.
Sancho has already bagged 14 league goals this season, tucking him in behind Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski on 25, and RB leipzig’s Timo Werner, who has 21.
Borussia Dortmund’s hotshot winger Jadon Sancho looks likely to be part of the England squad
The figure puts him level with Marcus Rashford in the Premier League and ahead of fellow England hopeful Tammy Abraham.
So far London-born Sancho has scored two goals in 11 appearances in an England shirt and is hoping to net a few more at the Euros.
He told Bundesliga.com in February: ‘I would love to get picked. It would be my first major competition with England and obviously doing that at my age would be an amazing feeling for me and my family.
‘It would be a great achievement for me personally, so I can’t wait, but again I have to focus on [Borussia Dortmund] at the moment, because you never know, anything could happen during the season.
‘Touch wood I’m fit and able to play, but until then, good vibes.’
Despite his age, Sancho has already been compared to Brazilian superstar Neymar and was lauded by former England midfielder Jermaine Jenas for ‘maturity beyond his years’.
His place may not be set in stone, but he will be a near impossible starlet for Southgate to ignore for the Euros.
Euros chance: 10/10
James Maddison had already caught England bosses’ eyes while at Norwich City in the Championship.
But the 23-year-old has proven he has what it takes to play in the top flight, having helped Leicester City surge to 3rd in the Premier League this season.
Maddison has enjoyed a stellar campaign as a vital cog in Brendan Roger’s side, and looks set for Champions League football next season.
James Maddison has enjoyed a stellar campaign as a cog in Brendan Roger’s Leicester side
His performances have earned him rave reviews with his nine goals and three assists only helping further his profile.
Yet he has only made one appearance for England’s senior side, in a 7–0 routing of Montenegro in a Euro 2020 Qualifying match in November.
And in October he was cautioned by Southgate when he was caught in a casino just hours after withdrawing from international duty.
Maddison was pictured gambling while England were losing to the Czech Republic, when he was supposed to be off sick. Southgate revealed Maddison had contacted him about the incident.
Despite the poor impression left on the England manager, Maddison will likely be a part of the England set up, yet it would be a tall order for him to start ahead of more established midfielders Jordan Henderson and Delle Alli.
Euros chance: 8/10
Chelsea’s 21-year-old midfielder has been given a chance to shine by boss Frank Lampard, and has grasped the opportunity.
Mason Mount played under the former England captain when he was on loan at Derby County last season, and racked up eight goals in 35 appearances at the Rams.
And he has continued his form this campaign, scoring five goals and adding five assists so far.
Mount (right) is likely to make the cut for the Euros but may have to make an impact off bench
Southgate handed Mount his first senior call up in October, where he was part of a humiliating 2-1 loss to the Czech Republic. But the youngster was one of few on the pitch to show signs of promise.
Since then, he has netted once for his country – in a 4-0 win over Kosovo – and made five more appearances.
Mount is likely to make the cut for Southgate’s side but, like Maddison, may have to make an impact off the bench due to more senior players in his position.
Euros chance: 7/10
Dean Henderson has excelled on loan at Sheffield United, suggesting he may have a long-term role to play for his parent club Manchester United and England.
Out of the English keepers in the Premier League, the 22-year-old comes out on top in terms of save percentage this season.
He has faced 86 shots on target and let in just 22 goals for a save percentage of 74.4, helping the Blades to a surprise 8th league position.
Dean Henderson has excelled on loan at the Blades and is likely to make the England squad
This is only bettered by non-Englishmen Alisson of Liverpool, Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris and Crystal Palace pair Vicente Guaita and Wayne Hennessey, with the latter having played just twice.
Henderson even has United’s first choice keeper David De Gea – who is slated as one of the best in the world – unsure of his place.
Leading the Spaniard in clean sheets, goals conceded and save percentage – and with only one costly error marked against his name – Henderson is building a strong case were he to return to Old Trafford.
An obvious choice for Southgate, Henderson will surely be in his Euro squad. But whether he beats an out of form Jordan Pickford and Burnley’s promising Nick Pope to the number one shirt remains to be seen.
Euros chance: 8/10
Despite the Canaries sitting rock bottom of the Premier League, 21-year-old Todd Cantwell has starred in his first season in the top flight and has emerged as a key player under Daniel Farke.
His form has attracted the attention of league giants Manchester United and Liverpool after impressing against both clubs.
Cantwell has six Premier League goals to his name, with half of those coming against Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal.
Due to the endless list of midfielders available to Southgate, it is unlikely Cantwell will get in
And the England Under 21 international is certainly confident in his ability, but has said he does not want it mistaken for arrogance.
He said after Norwich’s narrow loss to Liverpool in February: ‘I think I’m improving game by game and I feel like I’m becoming a better footballer. On a personal note, I’m loving it, playing in the Premier League against the best.’
At an international level Cantwell is yet to be given an opportunity to prove himself, with the Norfolk lad only making one start for Aidy Boothroyd’s U21 side in September.
Due to this, and seemingly endless list of midfielders available to Southgate for the Euros, it is unlikely Cantwell will get picked.
Euros chance: 2/10
If fit, Tammy Abraham looks destined to be a part of Southgate’s England set up, especially with fears over Harry Kane’s injury and Marcus Rashford a doubt.
The Chelsea forward was sidelined at the end of February to battle an ankle injury that had niggled him for over a month.
The ex-Aston Villa loanee has enjoyed an impressive breakthrough campaign in the capital, having scored 14 goals in 25 appearances.
Tammy Abraham looks destined to be a part of Southgate’s set up if he can get back fit in time
But his stellar form was brought to an abrupt half after sustaining a knock against Arsenal, with Abraham then failing to fully train throughout the top flight’s two-week winter break.
He may miss England’s friendlies against Italy and Denmark in March, but will be hopeful for the Euros after Lampard said the injury would not require surgery.
Abraham has shown he is made of the right stuff by ignoring what appeared to be the jinx of Chelsea’s No 9 shirt to become a successful spearhead of their attack.
He told Lampard in the summer he was ready for the role as ‘pressure drives me on’, scored in his first appearance in pre-season and has not looked back.
Fifteen more goals have followed for club and country and Abraham is well-placed to don the national shirt in Kane’s absence.
In another boost for the youngster, Southgate said in January: ‘He is a player who can play at the very highest level but he is still in those early stages.
‘It is his first period of time in the Premier League where he is scoring goals. I expect a lot more from him and hopefully the progression goes one way.’
Euros chance: 7/10
Declan Rice is almost single-handedly launching West Ham’s survival bid, with a sequence of top performances to keep the east Londoners out the bottom three.
The 21-year-old holding midfielder patrolled the defensive area against Southampton expertly to see the Hammers win 3-1.
For England he could be a suitable replacement for out-of-favour Tottenham player Eric Dier.
And West Ham boss David Moyes has gone as far to say Rice is the best in the role in the country.
Declan Rice, 21, (pictured) is almost single-handedly launching West Ham United’s survival bid
Moyes realises he could lose Rice this summer, regardless of survival, and he likened his potential exit to the time he had to sell Wayne Rooney when Everton manager.
The Scotsman said: ‘Declan is arguably the best holding midfield player in the country.
‘The best thing about Declan is he is young and he will get better. He’s not missed a game, not missed a minute. What would be the first thing you want at a club?
‘You tend to find clubs in trouble have loads of injuries, and Declan Rice hasn’t missed a day’s training or a game. Declan Rice is carrying a lot of the team at the moment.’
Rice got three Ireland caps before switching to England, who he has played for seven times.
Roy Keane grilled him for a poor performance against Kosovo in November, but the youngster remains in favour with boss Southgate.
Euros chance: 7/10
Leicester attacker Harvey Barnes has emerged as a late contender to gatecrash England’s Euro 2020 plans.
Barnes has impressed during the Foxes’ excellent season, that looks set to culminate in them qualifying for the Champions League.
And the 22-year-old’s sterling performances have not gone unnoticed by national boss Southgate.
Leicester’s Harvey Barnes emerged as a contender to gatecrash England’s Euro 2020 plans
But Barnes faces stiff competition, with Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Nathan Redmond all battling it out to be the wide men this summer.
He is certainly under consideration by Southgate ahead of March’s internationals against Italy and Denmark, particularly with Rashford set to miss out with a back problem.
Even if Barnes does not make it this time, his moment will surely come.
Euros chance: 4/10
Dominic Calvert-Lewin has turned his season around in dramatic fashion. The 22-year-old was inconsistent and did not have the faith of Everton boss Marco Silva at the start of the season.
But since Carlo Ancelotti took over in December he has a new lease of life and has benefited from being instructed to stay central and split the centre halves.
The England Under 20s World Cup winner has gone from being an Everton scapegoat to their stand-out player and worthy of the famous No 9 shirt.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin turned his season around to give Southgate something to think about
Given that Ancelotti has worked with several legendary strikers including Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo, his view that Calvert-Lewin can become one of Europe’s best came as a huge boost.
‘Hearing that, you go on to the pitch feeling a foot taller,’ says Calvert-Lewin, who is already a well-built 6ft 2in.
The next big step would be forcing himself into Southgate’s England plans ahead of Euro 2020.
Calvert-Lewin scored the winner in the final against Venezuela when the U20s became world champions in 2017.
Since then, Fikayo Tomori, Lewis Cook and Dominic Solanke have been recognised at senior level, but the Everton striker has had to be patient.
He said: ‘If an England call came, I would be the happiest man alive. Timing is important and to be honest I don’t think I’ve been ready in the past. Now I am getting close and all I can do is keep performing on a consistent basis to show the manager I am here.’
The in form striker may not pip the likes of Sancho, Rashford, Kane and Raheem Sterling for a place, but his recent performances have put him firmly in Southgate’s eyeline.
Euros chance: 4/10
It was only in January that Jarrod Bowen made the jump from Championship side Hull to Premier League outfit West Ham.
He scored 54 goals in 131 appearances for the Tigers in total since making his debut in 2014.
But some questioned if he was going to be able to perform in the top flight, or even get a game what with the Hammers investing millions in top European talent.
West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen during the Premier League match against Southampton on Saturday
Yet the 23-year-old forward, who can also play on the wing, has so far proved himself, made a stunning impact in his debut against Southampton on Saturday where he bagged his first goal.
His silky run through the Saints’ defence seemed to disprove claims from his manager Moyes that he could not be the Hammers’ saviour.
It may be too early for Bowen to step up another level and compete internationally, but if Saturday’s performance was anything to go by he could in Southgate’s mind for the future.
Euros chance: 3/10
Arsenal’s ‘wonderkid’ Bukayo Saka is taking Premier League football in his stride, with continued impressive performances.
The 18-year-old full back has proved strong in defence, but also vital in attack after producing an expert cross for Eddie Nketiah against Everton at the end of last month.
It has led to calls for him to be given a shot in the Euros, but Ben Chilwell, Luke Shaw and Danny Rose are ahead of him in the pecking order as it stands.
Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka is taking the Premier League by storm with impressive performances
What may prompt Southgate though is that Saka has previously said he is unsure if he wants to play for England or Nigeria.
He was born in Ealing, London, but has Nigerian parents so can play for either country despite representing the Three Lions at under-16, U17, U18 and U19 level.
‘I am always thinking about it but I haven’t made a decision yet,’ Saka told BBC Sport in December. ‘No one has been in touch but when I make a decision you will find out.’
At just 18, Saka would not be the youngster to play for England – what with Theo Walcott and Wayne Rooney both featuring when they were just 17 – but may be seen as too much of a gamble for Southgate.
Euros chance: 4/10
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