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In Profile: England’s official World Cup squad

We take a deeper look at the 26 stars that Gareth Southgate has selected


Gareth Southgate has named the 26-man squad that he will be taking to the Qatar World Cup as he bids to bring an international trophy back for the Three Lions for the first time since 1966.

Having reached the semi-finals four years ago, and lost the Euro 2020 final on penalties as they fell to Italy, England will be looking to go one better and be lifting the trophy on December 18th.

101 take a detailed look at who Southgate is hanging his hopes, and those of the nation, upon.

Goalkeepers

Jordan Pickford

Club: Everton

Caps: 45

Gareth Southgate’s undisputed number one and yet to let England down between the posts, Pickford’s form for Everton should translate nicely for the Three Lions, who will be hoping for plenty more heroics like those he has produced at the last two major tournaments.

Aaron Ramsdale

Club: Arsenal

Caps: 3

Set to be heading to his second consecutive major tournament, Ramsdale will likely head into proceedings in Qatar firm second choice for Gareth Southgate, with his distribution a key asset to his game. His enthusiasm and general character was praised at the Euros, making him an ideal traveller.

Nick Pope

Club: Newcastle United

Caps: 10

Despite fluffing his lines in the most recent Nations League encounters, Pope got the nod ahead of Dean Henderson for his fine Newcastle United form, with the former Burnley shot-stopper having managed six clean sheets and conceding just 11 goals in 14 starts.


Defenders

Kieran Trippier

Club: Newcastle United

Caps: 37

Goals: 1

With other options struggling for fitness, it seems likely that Kieran Trippier is once again set to head to a World Cup as England’s first-choice right-back, with the Newcastle United man at the top of his game in the Premier League. A danger at set pieces - as he proved four years ago against Croatia with his only goal for the Three Lions - his expertise, experience and leadership could be crucial for Gareth Southgate.

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Club: Liverpool

Caps: 17

Goals: 1

The debate continues to rage on about whether Trent Alexander-Arnold should be a key figure in Gareth Southgate’s side, but with Reece James’ injury ruling him out, the Liverpool man has got the nod. He will be hoping for a strong tournament to prove to those who have slammed his work at club level this season that he is still among the world’s elite.

Kyle Walker

Club: Manchester City

Caps: 70

Goals: 0

Walker remains in a race to prove his fitness ahead of England’s group opener against Iran but, should he be able to play any part in England’s tournament he will be a key asset for Gareth Southgate.

Even at 32 years old, his electric pace is vital to mopping up on the right side of England’s back three, and it is difficult to replace the veteran defender.

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Ben White

Club: Arsenal

Caps: 4

Goals: 0

White was not called up for the last International squad, but a lack of alternatives and his brilliant form for table-topping Arsenal has done enough to earn the former Brighton defender a spot in the 26.

Capable of playing either at right-back or in the heart of Gareth Southgate’s defence, he could well be a useful option for the Three Lions.

Harry Maguire

Club: Manchester United

Caps: 48

Goals: 7

Despite making just three Premier League starts this season, Harry Maguire’s place in Southgate’s squad was never in doubt, with the 29-year-old one of the England boss’s favourites.

He has never let his country down, and the back five England usually deploy suits the Manchester United captain down to the ground. This, combined with his threat from set pieces, means that he is expected to once more take his place in the heart of the Three Lions back line.

John Stones

Club: Manchester City

Caps: 59

Goals: 3

England’s best defender when form and experience are considered, Stones is set to be a key cornerstone of the England defence.

The 26-year-old’s driving runs from defence and ability to pick a pass will be crucial for England to break down the likes of Iran and the USA, while the Manchester City man has struck up a good understanding with Harry Maguire.

Eric Dier

Club: Tottenham Hotspur

Caps: 47

Goals: 3

The most senior player in the squad who currently plays in a back three, Tottenham defender Dier did his chances of inclusion no harm with a solid pair of outings in the September internationals - his first England caps since November 2020.

His form has suffered somewhat in recent weeks, and the fact that he shares a position with Harry Maguire in the centre of a back three does his chances of regularly starting for England some damage, but the presence of another experienced defender is sure to be a bonus for the Three Lions. He is also an experienced midfielder, offering plenty of cover for Declan Rice.

Eric Dier in the new England away kit

Conor Coady

Club: Everton

Caps: 10

Goals: 1

Rarely given the opportunity to play for Southgate, Coady is nonetheless a valued member of the England squad and his experience and insight is something that the England boss values. Also comfortable in a back three from his time at Wolves, the Everton man has been been in a back four so far this season, and will be versatile squad option for the Three Lions.

Luke Shaw

Club: Manchester United

Caps: 23

Goals: 3

So nearly England’s hero in Euro 2020, it has been a difficult 14 months for Shaw, who has found himself in and out of the Manchester United side and working under four different managers.

With Ben Chilwell out injured, Shaw is England’s undisputed first choice left-back, and having scored twice this calender year for the Three Lions, comes into the tournament on a good run of international form.


Midfielders

Declan Rice

Club: West Ham United

Caps: 34

Goals: 2

One of the best defensive midfielders in world football and a key figure in the England engine room, the West Ham man is vital to England’s side and, with Kalvin Phillips facing a race back from injury, Rice is the only recognised defensive midfielder in the squad.

Already captain for West Ham, the 23-year-old is one of several leaders in the England squad, and needs to be on the top of his game for the Three Lions to go all the way.

Jude Bellingham

Club: Borussia Dortmund

Caps: 17

Goals: 0

England’s shining talent and almost certain to start in midfield with Rice, Bellingham was one of few bright sparks for Gareth Southgate in the most recent September internationals. The youngster, who finished third in the Kopa trophy for U21s this season, is carrying some strong club form into the tournament, and could be a decisive star in an otherwise predictable England side.

Kalvin Phillips

Club: Manchester City

Caps: 23

Goals: 0

Phillips has not played much competitive football but marked his return as he came on as a second-half substitute against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night and managed 50 minutes on his return.

The former Leeds United man is almost certain to be an understudy to Declan Rice, but probably won’t be fit and sharp enough to resume the partnership with the West Ham man that excelled at Euro 2020.

Jordan Henderson

Club: Liverpool

Caps: 70

Goals: 2

Now in the waning years of his career, Henderson is nonetheless yet another valuable member of Gareth Southgate’s core leadership group even if he is restricted to cameos from the bench for the most part.

Conor Gallagher

Club: Chelsea

Caps: 4

Goals: 0

The Chelsea midfielder was left out of the September squad after returning to Stamford Bridge at the end of a successful loan spell with Crystal Palace, but his place in the squad could provide some refreshing dynamism in a midfield that can at times look passive. Unlikely to start games, his energy from the bench could be a useful asset.

James Maddison

Club: Leicester City

Caps: 1

Goals: 0

England’s most dangerous attacker in the Premier League across the past 12 months, Maddison has not played for the Three Lions since 2019, when he made a single start, but simply had to be selected on form and could yet prove to be Southgate’s joker in the pack in Qatar.

Mason Mount

Club: Chelsea

Caps: 32

Goals: 5

Tasked with doing much of the running in the England frontline, Mount has been one of the first names on the teamsheet for both club and country. The Chelsea man has just five goals to his name at international level but has been one of his side’s brightest sparks in a tricky spell for the Blues so far this campaign. He is tipped to make a big impact in Qatar.


Forwards

Bukayo Saka

Club: Arsenal

Caps: 20

Goals: 4

England’s player of the year for 2021, Bukayo Saka has bounced back brilliantly after missing the key penalty against Italy in the Euro 2020 shoot-out and is in red-hot form as he helps Arsenal mount a title charge.

Heading into the Euros as a bit-part player, he has established himself on the right flank as one of England’s key figures, though he will likely have to fight it out with Mount and Phil Foden for a place in the starting XI.

Phil Foden

Club: Manchester City

Caps: 18

Goals: 2

Though one of England’s most talented players, it is unclear whether Foden will actually be handed a starting berth on either flank for Southgate’s side with options aplenty set to hand the boss a serious headache. After a flying start to the season, Foden has found himself out of the side recently and has never been a regular on the international scene, but if he is fully fit he could be one of the potential stars of the tournament.

Raheem Sterling

Club: Chelsea

Caps: 79

Goals: 19

Though not in great form for Chelsea, Sterling has been a regular performer for England, and was the top goalscorer for the Three Lions at Euro 2020. His starting berth is in doubt, but his form for the Three Lions could see him retain his spot over the better-performing alternatives, and he provides a much-needed foil to Harry Kane.

Jack Grealish

Club: Manchester City

Caps: 21

Goals: 1

Grealish was the heartthrob of plenty two years ago, but since his move to Manchester City he has flattered to deceive for the most part. More likely to be reduced to cameos from the bench once more as others have overtaken him in the pecking order, but could be a devastating force late on in games with his ability to dribble with the ball.

Harry Kane

Club: Tottenham Hotspur

Caps: 75

Goals: 51

England’s captain and the man desperately chasing record after record with the Three Lions, Kane finished top scorer at the tournament four years ago and will be looking to do so again this time around in Qatar.

The Tottenham man needs just two goals to draw level with Wayne Rooney’s all-time goalscoring record for England, and a third would take him clear at the top, having already become the fastest man to 50 goals.

Marcus Rashford

Club: Manchester United

Caps: 46

Goals: 12

Dropped from the England setup after missing a penalty in the shoot-out defeat to Italy at Euro 2020, injury and poor form plagued Rashford last season, but he looks revitalised now he has moved more centrally under Erik ten Hag this season.

On the cusp of a call-up in September only for injury to thwart him, he offers a different option to Kane and can also operate from the left hand side, adding yet more valuable versatility to the England frontline.

Marcus Rashford models the new England away kit

Callum Wilson

Club: Newcastle United

Caps: 4

Goals: 1

A surprise addition but undoubtedly one of England’s best forwards when fit, the Newcastle man has not been a part of an England squad for over three years but his fine form for the Magpies has seen him fire his way back into Gareth Southgate’s plans.

Wilson netted on his debut against the USA for the Three Lions, and will be asked to backup Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford should something happen to either.

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Read more:

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.



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