England have named a provisional 33-man squad for the delayed Euro 2020, with seven unlucky players to miss out in the cut to a final 26.
Injury doubts over several players – including Harry Maguire, Jordan Henderson, Jack Grealish and Kalvin Phillips – have played a part in that decision but coach Gareth Southgate has much to consider besides.
Here, the PA news agency runs the rule over the players’ league records this season.
The equation here is simple, three from four. Jordan Pickford has long been England’s first choice and kept 10 clean sheets this season, comfortably leading the four men in the squad despite playing fewer games than Sam Johnstone and Aaron Ramsdale – albeit in a far more solid Everton team.
Dean Henderson played 13 games for Manchester United, keeping David De Gea out of the line-up for a stretch, and made 40 saves on his way to four clean sheets. The likely decision is between Johnstone, who kept six clean sheets and made 166 saves for West Brom, and Ramsdale who was similarly impressive for their relegation rivals Sheffield United with five clean sheets and 147 saves.
Ben White pushed his case with 62 interceptions, two ahead of Harry Maguire for the most in Southgate’s 33-man group, while fellow new call-up Ben Godfrey’s 55 tackles led the six centre-backs in the selection.
Tyrone Mings made 170 clearances for Aston Villa, second in the Premier League and by far the most in the England squad even as Conor Coady, Maguire and Godfrey also hit three figures. Depending on Maguire’s fitness, the two newcomers may be competing for one place – or could both miss out, with Kyle Walker able to cover centre-back.
At full-back, Kieran Trippier, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Reece James broke the half-century mark for tackles and they, along with Ben Chilwell and Luke Shaw, all made between 39 and 47 clearances. Attacking output will also be a key consideration and Alexander-Arnold had seven assists, Trippier six and Chilwell and Shaw five each, with Chilwell also scoring three league goals for Chelsea.
Walker looks the odd man out statistically with one goal, one assist, 29 tackles, 22 clearances and 14 interceptions, but is a proven presence at major tournaments and a repeat domestic title-winner, while also offering that versatility.
Six players will compete for selection as orthodox central midfielders, with defensive characteristics possibly to the forefront to allow the attacking players ahead of them to flourish.
Recent call-ups Phillips and James Ward-Prowse impressed with 74 and 75 tackles respectively and their 49 and 52 clearances also rank ahead of their rivals, while Declan Rice’s 59 interceptions trailed only Maguire and White in the whole squad. Henderson was held back by injuries to himself and others at Liverpool but if fit, he is a key part of Southgate’s plans.
Mason Mount’s underrated defensive game saw him also make 75 tackles and he contributed six goals and five assists, albeit from a more advanced role with Chelsea. Ward-Prowse’s set-piece prowess helped him to eight goals and seven assists for Southampton, while Jude Bellingham offers youth and versatility and made 49 tackles for Borussia Dortmund despite only 19 starts among his 29 appearances.
The most competitive area of the team, with eight players vying for the wing and ‘number 10’ spots in addition to Mount and even Bellingham’s ability to operate in that area.
Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling had double-figure Premier League goal tallies and Aston Villa’s Grealish and Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho each managed 10-plus assists – Rashford just missing out with nine despite a nagging late-season injury.
Jesse Lingard’s nine goals came in just 16 appearances after his January loan move to West Ham, and Mason Greenwood also flourished late on as he ended up with seven league goals. Phil Foden scored nine times and won the title with Manchester City and while Bukayo Saka’s statistical output is lower, he is versatile and has starred for both Arsenal and England.
Further forward, Harry Kane is Southgate’s captain and led the Premier League in both goals and assists with 23 and 14 respectively. Dominic Calvert-Lewin outscored Ollie Watkins 16 to 14, though Watkins added five assists, and the pair could be in a straight fight for a place if Rashford is considered the third central option.