The England men’s senior national team remains on an upward trajectory. Exceeding all expectations at the 2018 World Cup in Russia by finishing fourth; they went a place better in the inaugural UEFA Nations League this summer. While it took a penalty shoot-out to separate the Three Lions and Switzerland in the Nations League third-place play-off, the Under-21 side are playing their own European Championship in Italy.
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These Young Lions have already seen Gareth Southgate promote plenty of talent into the senior squad already, so starring at this tournament could help stake a claim to future involvement. With that in mind, here are three players who could crash the England squad at Euro 2020.
While right-back is an obvious area of strength for Southgate, so much so in fact that he could afford to leave Kieran Trippier off the National League finals roster, a lot can happen between now and next summer. The wealth of options available to Southgate across the squad, as well as strong recent tournament performances, has seen England rise to second favourites in the football betting for the Euro 2020 outright winner market.
One of Crystal Palace’s prize assets is Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and his rise from academy product to first-team regular at Selhurst Park culminated in him being voted the Eagles’ player of the year. Competition is stiff with Trent Alexander-Arnold winning the Champions League with Liverpool and Kyle Walker a domestic treble at Manchester City, but Wan-Bissaka is already attracting interest from bigger clubs. Whether or not Palace can keep hold of him sets the tone for their season.
Left-sided player Ryan Sessegnon seems destined for bigger and better things than another Championship campaign with Fulham. As with Wan-Bissaka, there is said to be big interest in him from top teams.
There was enough promise on show during Fulham’s short but sweet return to the Premier League to suggest Sessegnon can develop into a top player. Still just 19, it’s still too early to say whether left-back or the wing is his best position. That versatility may appeal to Southgate. Again, in the full-back berths, England are blessed with options. Danny Rose at Tottenham – one of the touted destinations for Sessegnon – and Ben Chilwell of Leicester City are joined by Luke Shaw (Manchester United) as players called up for this role.
Speaking of the Foxes, attacking midfielder James Maddison caught the eye in the East Midlands after scoring seven Premier League goals in his debut campaign and Southgate has selected him for senior England duty before, although he hasn’t made an appearance.
A graduate of Coventry City’s academy like Three Lions striker Callum Wilson, Maddison has moved up through the leagues via a subsequent spell at Norwich City and then with Leicester in the top flight last term.
If he continues to perform under Brendan Rodgers then Maddison may oust England squad regulars. Ross Barkley hasn’t pulled up any trees at Chelsea and needs to do better or he will be looking nervously over his shoulder.