The Premier League stars set to miss out on England's Euro 2024 squad - including Arsenal and Chelsea men
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England know their group stage draw and there are now just two friendly matches against Brazil and Belgium standing between Gareth Southgate and the day he has to name his squad for Euro 2024. Injuries and similar issues aside, he probably already has a pretty good idea of who he’s taking to Germany – but the rest of us are left guessing.
Happily, if you want to know how likely certain players are to make the 23-man squad, you just need to ask the bookies, who have done their level best to calculate precisely how likely any given player is to be on the plane in the hope of making some money off of you. Happily, we don’t actually have to give them any money to use their workings – so don’t gamble, kids, but do use their maths to determine whether your favourite player will be wearing the Three Lions next summer.
Anyway, let’s see which players are more than likely to miss the flight – all of these guys are odds against to be in Southgate’s final selection. There are some surprises, some who would be able to count themselves unfortunate, and one or two whose exclusion exists solely to irritate online England fans. Let’s dive in…
Let’s start at the top, with a man who seemed to be one of Southgate’s most trusted players for years on end, and through thick and thin – before a slow start to his Chelsea career cost him his spot on England’s left wing. Sterling hasn’t been able to win it back since.
Clearly, Southgate has had a high opinion of Sterling for a very long time, so if he can rediscover his best form on a consistent basis he has to be a contender - and indeed he was a nominee for November’s Premier League Player of the Month award, so there are some signs of life. Whether they’re enough to earn his place back after missing the entire qualification campaign remains to be seen, but the bookies are less than optimistic. We say that betting against Sterling has never been a profitable proposition before.
The football-averse Arsenal right-back was originally in Southgate’s plans for Qatar 2022 but was sent home from the training camp for unspecified “personal reasons” and has never been called up again. Whatever happened – and it will probably be a few years before we find out – White and Southgate plainly haven’t patched things up, and unless something significant changes then he hasn’t got a chance of making it to Germany. Given how blessed England are with world-class right-backs, this isn’t something the England manager will feel the need to back down on.
We recently covered the reasons that Ward-Prowse hasn’t established himself in the England squad despite his impressive form for Southampton and West Ham United over the past few years – he simply doesn’t do the things Southgate wants his midfielders to do well enough, for all the qualities that he has in abundance. He hasn’t made the last couple of England squads and barring a hefty run of injuries, doesn’t seem to be in the reckoning for Euro 2024.
This one perhaps surprised us the most – while AC Milan defender Tomori is odds against to make the trip to Germany, Brighton & Hove Albion man Lewis Dunk is odd-on ahead of him. Both have had a few chances to show the England boss what they can do in recent qualifiers and both did pretty well – but Tomori has been making squads for longer, so you would have thought he’d be a little higher in the pecking order. Neither will be in the starting XI – Harry Maguire, John Stones and Marc Guéhi seem like the top three as it stands, and Levi Colwill is also firmly odds-on to be included – but we slightly question the bookies’ judgement here and think that Tomori might be a shade ahead of Dunk in what amounts to a two-man race to be the fifth-choice centre-back. Or Southgate could just decide that that’s Luke Shaw and take neither. You never know…
The 22-year-old Newcastle United forward has been on searing form this season, scoring six goals in the Premier League already and looking like he’s taken a massive leap forward since last year – but he still hasn’t made it to the England squad, and might just be finding his best form a little too late to force his way in. That’s how the bookmakers see it, anyway, but can Gordon continue smashing the goals in to force his way into those all-important friendly squads in March?
Another youngster who’s come on in leaps and bounds but who may be making their name just a little too late. Palmer has been impressive for Chelsea this season but hasn’t got much time to prove his worth, and is battling with players like Jude Bellingham, James Maddison and Bukayo Saka for a place in the squad, which can politely be described as a tough task. Looks like a great player for the future but is unlikely to have sufficient chance to show what he can do this time around. Like Gordon, being good won’t cut it – they’ll both have to be sublime to make it to Germany.
Mount has picked up plenty of caps under Southgate and the England manager is clearly a fan – but a combination of injury and awful form has seen him lose his spot since moving to Manchester United, and now both Bellingham and Maddison look a mile ahead of him in the pecking order. Mount has been a good servant for England and has plenty of time ahead of him to force his way back into the reckoning, but he’ll need a massive turnaround at Old Trafford to get anywhere near a spot in the Euros team.
Nketiah made his debut in the friendly game against Australia in October, but that brief substitute appearance remains his only action in an England shirt after being part of a couple of Southgate’s squads – which rather implies that the manager isn’t especially convinced that Nketiah is up to scratch. Given that he’s battling for a spot with the likes of Harry Kane, Ollie Watkins, Callum Wilson and potentially Ivan Toney, it’s hard to disagree with the bookies that the Arsenal forward is unlikely to make it to Germany.
Another player we’re surprised the bookies are so down on – they reckon Bowen is marginally less than likely to be present when England play Serbia in their opening group stage game. The West Ham man has been on sterling form in the Premier League so far, but hasn’t hit the back of the net in any of his five England games so far, so perhaps the bookmakers have a point. Nevertheless, recent squads have suggested that Southgate sees him as a solid back-up to Saka on the right wing. We suspect he’ll scrape in, but it will be close.
The Crystal Palace star has two caps to his name so far and has the same odds of making the flight as Bowen – but we think he’s much less likely to get the call from Southgate, unfortunately. Partly that’s just because he plays through the middle, a spot in the squad which is rather booked at this point, and partly it’s because Southgate would likely have given him more playing time by now if he was sold on his qualities. If he can get a really good run going before the March friendlies he might have a chance, especially if there’s an injury to Bellingham or Maddison, but given that’s currently out with an ankle injury we don’t love his chances.
Finally, another young player that could be a late bolter – Lewis hasn’t really established himself as a regular for Manchester City yet but still got called up for England’s final qualification games as injury cover and acquitted himself well on debut. A really strong second half of the season could see him preferred to Kalvin Phillips as a midfielder if the City benchwarmer can’t get his much-needed move, or he could be a back-up left-back should Shaw or Ben Chilwell be unavailable. Versatile and exciting enough to stand a decent chance of making it, even if we understand that the bookies reckon he makes it less often than he does.