Raheem Sterling, John Stones, Phil Foden and Kyle Walker all likely to be named in Gareth Southgate's squad
With Man City on course to regain the Premier League title and still competing for a potential quadruple this season, the English contingent at the club will be harbouring hopes of playing a major role in the hotly anticipated Euro 2020 tournament later this year. Here are four players that Gareth Southgate will likely call on to support England’s tilt at glory.
One player that is certain to get game time barring injury this summer is Raheem Sterling, who continues to be one of England’s best wingers. While the 2020/21 season has not been Sterling’s most prolific for City, he has still chipped in with 10 goals and nine assists in the Premier League and Champions League.
Sterling’s recent record for England is impressive too with nine goals in his last eleven appearances, which included the vital winner in the 1-0 triumph over Iceland in the Nations League in September last year.
There will be competition at the top end of the pitch as England boast a wealth of young attacking talent but Southgate, like Pep Guardiola, places great trust in Sterling. The 26-year-old has become one of the senior players that others now look up to on the international scene.
When England kick off their Euro 2020 campaign against Croatia in June, Sterling is likely to be deployed on the left of a front three in Southgate’s preferred 3-4-3 formation.
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While Sterling has been an integral part of the England squad throughout Southgate’s tenure, the same cannot be said for John Stones who has not featured for the national side since November 2019.
However, the 26-year-old has been a key player for City this season, forming an impressive partnership with Ruben Dias at the heart of a defence that laid the foundation for the team’s recent 21 game winning run.
Stones is now tipped to make a return for the World Cup qualifiers in March and given his recent form, could play a major role for England in the Euros.
Former international Jonathan Woodgate believes Stones has been “outstanding” and is capable of playing in either a back three or four depending on the tactics that Southgate adopts in the coming months.
He added: “There’s no better English centre-back than John Stones. If I was Gareth Southgate, he’d be my number one centre-back straight away.”
After his recent goal against Southampton, Pep Guardiola also said Stones “deserves” an England return and went on to praise his all-round performances for the team.
The departure of David Silva last summer was a blow for City but Guardiola expressed his confidence in Phil Foden to fill the void left by the Spaniard, and the 20-year-old has done so capably in a memorable breakout season.
The highlight thus far was the solo strike at Anfield that capped a 4-1 win against Liverpool but Foden’s overall game has come on leaps and bounds during the last twelve months and he now looks set to light up the international stage too.
Foden made a return to the England squad back in November and he could be one of the star players of the whole tournament at Euro 2020 if he plays to the best of his ability.
Foden has already bagged six goals and five assists in 22 Premier League appearances for City during the 2020/21 campaign and former England defender Glen Johnson expects the youngster to be “one of the first names on the team sheet”.
England have a lot of attacking talent at their disposal and Foden could be deployed alongside Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford and Sterling in an explosive line-up that would be full of pace, trickery and goals.
The final City player likely to represent England this summer is Kyle Walker. The 30-year-old has made 53 appearances for the national side since his debut a decade ago and his versatility either as a pacey full back or centre back in a back three means he should be called on again by Southgate at the Euros.
Walker is another player that has flourished under Guardiola and he has been a core part of the City team that now looks set to cruise to the Premier League title.
He did fall out of favour with England for a twelve-month period from 2019 but after missing six games, Southgate recalled him for the games against Iceland and Denmark in September 2020 and he last featured in the 2-0 defeat to Belgium in November.