The 2024 European Championship is just months away and England will enter next summer’s finals in Germany as one of the favourites for success.
Gareth Southgate will be certain on the majority of his selections for his final squad, though there are a number of names pushing for inclusion as Euro 2024 wildcards. Southgate has, famously, been loyal to those who have performed for him previously, but could the England manager take a chance on one of these in-form Premier League names?
Here are four players pushing for a place in England’s Euro 2024 squad.
Anthony Gordon’s impressive performances at Newcastle have seen the winger backed for an England inclusion, though the autumn internationals passed without a maiden call.
Gordon has exploded this season after an underwhelming first six months on Tyneside, showing the form which made the Liverpudlian so sought after at Everton.
The 22-year-old has scored seven Premier League goals and laid on five assists for Newcastle this season, with only Jarrod Bowen (13) and Cole Palmer (13) having provided more goal involvements among England’s wide options this season.
Anthony Gordon with a brilliantly curled effort to turn Newcastle’s fortunes around! 🎯
From 1-0 down to 2-1 up!
— Football on TNT Sports (@footballontnt) January 13, 2024
Gordon’s work ethic and electric pace seem ideally suited to the demands of Southgate’s system, while his ability to influence big games this season adds to his appeal. The winger has scored against five of the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ sides this season, including a wonderful individual effort in front of the watching Southgate against Manchester City at the weekend.
He was named Player of the Tournament as England’s u-21 side won the European Championship in 2023 and is playing his way into contention for a tilt at the senior title this summer.
Dominic Solanke is well known to Southgate, who handed the forward a first senior cap in 2017. Just 20 at the time, Solanke was raw and unready for the top level and took time to find his feet in the Premier League.
This season, the 26-year-old has found the form of his life under Andoni Iraola at Bournemouth, scoring 12 goals in 19 league appearances and earning the Premier League’s Player of the Month award for December.
Dominic Solanke in December:
𝟲 games 🏟️
𝟲 goals ⚽️
𝟰 wins ✅
He becomes the first Bournemouth player ever to win the Premier League 𝙋𝙡𝙖𝙮𝙚𝙧 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙈𝙤𝙣𝙩𝙝 award 🍒 pic.twitter.com/KiwjcUMzsu
— LiveScore (@livescore) January 12, 2024
Solanke’s goal record had let down a forward who resembled a Swiss Army Knife at number nine, combining a solid physique with neat touches and work-rate out of possession. That the goals are now flowing freely has put Solanke in contention for an England call, with the forward leading the Premier League for shots (65) this season and ranking third for xG and non-penalty xG per 90.
Solanke has scored 12 goals from an xG of 11.0 this season, demonstrating the improvement in his finishing this season.
Barring injury, Harry Kane is a certainty for the squad, while Ollie Watkins looks the likeliest deputy to the England captain. Solanke’s chances might hinge on whether Southgate selects three number nines in his 23-man squad for the tournament. He has experience of tournament success with England, having won the Golden Ball as England’s u-17 won the World Cup in 2017.
Centre-back appears the area of the squad that is most open ahead of Euro 2024. Established pairing Harry Maguire and John Stones have struggled with form and fitness issues of late, while none of a group containing Marc Guehi, Lewis Dunk, Fikayo Tomori, Levi Colwill and Ezri Konsa can be considered automatic selections.
Jarrad Branthwaite’s recent form has placed the Everton centre-back in the reckoning for the squad. The 21-year-old has formed an excellent partnership with James Tarkowski at Goodison Park, having returned from an eye-catching loan spell at PSV Eindhoven last season.
This season, the 6ft 5in defender ranks fourth in the Premier League for interceptions (32), sixth for clearances (86) and seventh for percentage of dribblers tackled (80.6%). Though he featured just once as England’s u-21 side won the European Championship last summer, his reputation has grown this season to spark reports of transfer interest from Manchester United, Spurs and Real Madrid.
🥶 Of the 110 outfield players to have started 15+ matches in the Premier League this season, 𝗢𝗡𝗟𝗬 Jarrad Branthwaite is yet to be dispossessed of possession pic.twitter.com/qNZ0x63LwR
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) January 11, 2024
A natural left-sided centre-back option with composure in possession, he must be on the radar of Southgate and his selection team.
Curtis Jones has played his way back into Liverpool’s best midfield in recent weeks, with a run of consistent performances having made him undroppable for Jurgen Klopp of late.
He has four goals and two assists since the start of December and has scored in each of his last four appearances at Anfield. The 22-year-old has risen to the challenge of increased competition for a midfield berth and offers goal threat and ball retention from the number eight position.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 11, 2024
Jones has averaged 90+% pass accuracy in all competitions for Liverpool so far this season, while his underlying numbers per 90 show his potential. Across the last 12 months, Jones ranks in the 98th percentile of midfielders in Europe’s top five leagues for pass completion, and in the top 10% of midfielders for progressive carries, progressive passes received and attacking penalty area touches.
Competition is fierce with England but Jones’ defensive work-rate, alongside that creative threat, could give him an advantage when Southgate selects his final options.