ENGLAND’S EURO 2024 SQUAD LADDER: Kane and Bellingham lead the way after starring against Italy, while Phillips jumps up the rankings, but Ramsdale risks missing out… how the Three Lions are shaping up after booking their spot in Germany
- England have qualified for Euro 2024 after beating Italy at Wembley on Tuesday
- Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham starred, while Kalvin Phillips also got a start
- Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off!’
England booked their place at Euro 2024 by beating Italy 3-1 at Wembley on Tuesday night, with Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham starring for Gareth Southgate’s men.
This followed on from a 1-0 friendly win against Australia last Friday, making it another successful international break for the Three Lions.
Next year’s Euros in Germany are now just eight months away, and England are shaping up nicely to be considered one of the favourites for the tournament.
But can they finally take that next step and end their wait for a trophy after a number of near misses in recent years?
Southgate will only be able to pick 26 players next summer, and Mail Sport has taken a look at England’s current squad ladder following their latest two matches.
Gareth Southgate watched his side beat Italy on Tuesday to book their place at Euro 2024
MAIL SPORT’S PREVIOUS TOP 40
1. Harry Kane
2. Jude Bellingham
3. Bukayo Saka
4. John Stones
5. Declan Rice
6. Kyle Walker
7. Jordan Pickford
8. Marcus Rashford
9. Luke Shaw
10. Jack Grealish
11. Jordan Henderson
12. Ben Chilwell
13. Harry Maguire
14. James Maddison
15. Phil Foden
16. Kieran Trippier
17. Aaron Ramsdale
18. Marc Guehi
19. Trent Alexander-Arnold
20. Conor Gallagher
21. Eberechi Eze
22. Reece James
23. Lewis Dunk
24. Kalvin Phillips
25. Callum Wilson
26. Sam Johnstone
27. Nick Pope
28. Mason Mount
29. Fikayo Tomori
30. Eddie Nketiah
31. Levi Colwill
32. Raheem Sterling
33. James Ward-Prowse
34. Jarrod Bowen
35. Ollie Watkins
36. Morgan Gibbs-White
37. Harvey Elliott
38. Anthony Gordon
39. Curtis Jones
40. Rico Lewis
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1. Harry Kane (NON-MOVER)
Kane was given a rare rest against Australia, but was back to lead the line against Italy, and scored in either half to take his international goal tally to 61.
His first half penalty was coolly slotted away, while his individual brilliance was on show to wrap up the game after the interval.
The 30-year-old is arguably the most well-rounded striker in world football right now, and as captain will be the first name on the teamsheet next summer, barring injury.
Harry Kane scored twice against Italy and remains the first name on the teamsheet
2. Jude Bellingham (NON-MOVER)
Bellingham has a claim for top spot on this list, but you can’t ignore Kane’s numbers. Still, the 20-year-old talent will undoubtedly be one of the main players carrying the nation’s hopes on his shoulders next year.
He has taken LaLiga by storm since joining Real Madrid in the summer, and brought his club form to the international stage on Tuesday.
His burst of pace earned England a penalty to get them back into the game after conceding an early goal, and his role in Marcus Rashford’s goal to give England the lead was crucial. Bellingham is a star, and may just be the best midfielder on the planet.
Jude Bellingham won a penalty and set up Marcus Rashford’s goal to continue his brilliant start to the season
3. John Stones (UP ONE)
The fact Southgate picked Stones to start against Italy when he has hardly played this season shows how important the Manchester City man is to this England team.
Stones had an exceptional 2022-23 campaign at City, winning the Treble, but has been frustrated by injuries this term.
He is back now, though, and remains England’s best centre back by a distance. It is now a question of who will partner him in Germany next year.
4. Declan Rice (UP ONE)
Like Stones, it is hard to see how Rice would be replaced if he was ever unavailable for Southgate.
The Arsenal midfielder shields the back four so well, but he can also take the ball up the pitch to relieve pressure.
The Gunners look like title contenders once more with Rice in their ranks, and he will be key to England’s hopes at Euro 2024.
Declan Rice is irreplaceable in the holding midfield role for the Three Lions
5. Bukayo Saka (DOWN TWO)
It may seem harsh to drop Saka after he missed England’s two games through injury, but he is not quite as indispensable as Stones and Rice.
Southgate can call upon the likes of Phil Foden and Jarrod Bowen if he needs to, highlighting the strength in depth on the right wing.
Saka is still a huge player for the national team, though, and remains in pole position to start on the right in England’s first match next June.
6. Kyle Walker (NON-MOVER)
England have so much talent at right back, but Walker is still the player Southgate turns to for the big games.
At 33, he is not slowing down just yet, and produced another accomplished display against Italy.
Walker has captained City this season, and is one of the leaders in the squad Southgate will be relying on in the big moments next year.
7. Jordan Pickford (NON-MOVER)
Pickford has eased his way past 50 caps for his country, and has opened up some breathing space between himself and the chasing pack when it comes to being England’s No 1.
Aaron Ramsdale has dropped to the bench for Arsenal, while Nick Pope is out of favour with Southgate and Sam Johnstone looks like no more than a solid squad player for the Three Lions.
It would be a major surprise to see anyone but Pickford in goal at the Euros.
8. Marcus Rashford (NON-MOVER)
Rashford has had a difficult start to the season at Manchester United, but enjoyed his time away with England this week.
He took his goal against Italy well, cutting in from the left before firing into the bottom corner, and was a constant threat throughout the game.
He still needs to improve defensively, as Italy had plenty of joy down his flank in the first half, but he is the perfect player to run onto Kane’s through balls and links up well with Bellingham. Right now, he is the favourite to start on the left next summer.
Marcus Rashford scored against Italy to boost his confidence after a difficult start to the season at Man United
9. Luke Shaw (NON-MOVER)
Shaw is currently injured and is not expected to return until the latter stages of 2023, but he has been England’s first choice left back in the last two major tournaments, and no one has done enough to displace him in the meantime.
England’s options at left back are a little limited, with Ben Chilwell regularly battling fitness issues, while Kieran Trippier is more comfortable from the opposite flank.
As a result, Shaw stays at nine, and should be back into the team once he returns from his lay-off.
10. Harry Maguire (UP THREE)
Maguire hit a new low during the last international break when he scored an own goal against Scotland and was jeered by supporters.
But he seems to have turned a corner since then, setting up the winning goal against Brentford in United’s latest game, and he then had a solid outing against Italy on Tuesday.
He retains the faith of Southgate who clearly likes the partnership he has built with Stones over the years. As things stand, he will play alongside the City centre back in Germany.
Harry Maguire has started to turn a corner and retains the faith of Gareth Southgate
11. Phil Foden (UP FOUR)
Foden has started the season strongly for City, and offers versatility which is crucial at a major tournament.
The 23-year-old is equally capable on either wing, and looks dangerous when he moves into central areas, despite Southgate expressing reservations about his suitability for this role.
He certainly makes the plane, and is pushing Saka and Rashford hard for a starting spot.
12. Jack Grealish (DOWN TWO)
Foden’s City team-mate Grealish drops a couple of places after a quiet start to the season.
After shining last term, Grealish suffered an injury setback in the opening weeks of the campaign, and is yet to click into top gear since returning.
He showed glimpses of his undoubted quality against Australia, but also played a little too safely at times, and Southgate is likely to see him as an option off the bench for the moment.
Jack Grealish has had a slow start to the season and may have slipped slightly down the pecking order
13. Kieran Trippier (UP THREE)
Trippier is thriving at Newcastle this season, registering five assists in his first eight league games, and he is Mr Reliable for England.
He has rarely featured at left back at club level, but has taken to the role well for England.
Probably second choice in both full back positions behind Walker and Shaw, but there will be no concerns if he is needed as he is such a consistent performer.
14. James Maddison (NON-MOVER)
Maddison has reached a new level at Tottenham this season, and has forced his way into Southgate’s plans after being ignored for several years.
His problem is that Bellingham has made the No 10 position his own. Southgate has tried to shoehorn Maddison into his team on the left a couple of times – showing he clearly rates him – but it hasn’t really worked.
Maddison is a creative midfielder worthy of a place in the squad, but may have to be patient when it comes to game time due to Bellingham’s growing importance to the side.
15. Kalvin Phillips (UP NINE)
Phillips is the big mover this time around after Southgate selected him to start against Italy.
He has hardly played for City since joining them last summer, but Southgate clearly believes he brings balance to the midfield and gave him the nod at Wembley.
The 27-year-old looked understandably rusty, and was a little fortunate to escape a red card after several late challenges, but the partnership he has with Rice is valued.
He needs to play more football, and a January move has been mooted, with Newcastle reportedly showing interest. If he does leave City and starts to play regularly in the second half of the season, this should cement his place in the national team ahead of next summer.
Kalvin Phillips started against Italy despite having hardly played for Man City this season
16. Jordan Henderson (DOWN FIVE)
It seems fitting to have Henderson just below Phillips after the City man edged out his counterpart on Tuesday night.
Southgate appears to see Phillips as the slightly better holding midfielder for now, but there is very little to separate the pair.
Henderson was booed by England fans on Friday when he played against Australia, but Southgate offered him his full support afterwards, and all signs are pointing to the former Liverpool man making the squad next summer.
17. Marc Guehi (UP ONE)
Guehi looks to be the back-up option for Maguire, and has looked up to the task when called upon.
The Crystal Palace defender is a calming influence at the back, and demonstrated that by bringing down a tricky ball from Pickford with minimal fuss before clipping a pass into Kane in the build-up to England’s third goal on Tuesday.
If Maguire continues to hardly play for United, Guehi could usurp him in the pecking order, but for now he is being made to wait a little longer for more opportunities.
18. Trent Alexander-Arnold (UP ONE)
Over the years, it has always been difficult to see exactly how Alexander-Arnold fits into Southgate’s plans. To a certain degree, that remains the case, but he is starting to win over the England boss.
Alexander-Arnold performed well against Australia, putting in a fabulous cross prior to the winning goal, while he was rarely caught out defensively.
Walker and Trippier are ahead of him at right back, but Alexander-Arnold is becoming more and more comfortable at stepping into the centre of the pitch, and the final midfield slot alongside Rice and Bellingham is still up for grabs.
Gareth Southgate may consider playing Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield next summer
19. Ben Chilwell (DOWN SEVEN)
Chilwell falls seven places down the list after missing another international break through injury.
His fitness setbacks are becoming a major issue, and he needs to get a run of games at Chelsea to earn his place in England’s squad.
When he is fully fit, he is likely to be Shaw’s understudy, but Southgate has had previous doubts about him after not playing him at all at Euro 2020, and Chilwell could be set for more Euros heartbreak if he keeps getting injured.
20. Conor Gallagher (NON-MOVER)
Gallagher has been one of Chelsea’s standout performers under Mauricio Pochettino, and has been handed the captain’s armband on multiple occasions.
He offers plenty of energy in the middle of the park, although his tenacity can sometimes become an issue and he was lucky to get away with a late tackle when he started against Australia.
Unlikely to be a starter in Germany, but his qualities make him a good option for Southgate to use off the bench if he needs his side to up the tempo.
21. Lewis Dunk (UP TWO)
If Guehi is playing second fiddle to Maguire, the same could be said for Dunk providing cover for Stones.
Dunk only returned to the international setup against Scotland last month but looked like he’d never been away, and he delivered another impressive performance against Australia last Friday.
His first half goal-line clearance spared England’s blushes, and he has every chance of making the plane next summer.
Lewis Dunk produced another assured display in an England shirt against Australia last week
22. Reece James (NON-MOVER)
Southgate admires James’ skillset, but much like his Chelsea team-mate Chilwell, James has fitness issues to deal with.
He can’t seem to string a run of games together without picking up a fresh knock, and this has meant he has hardly played this season.
If he can stay fit, he will make the final squad and battle with Trippier and Alexander-Arnold to cover for Walker. That’s a big if, though.
23. Eberechi Eze (DOWN TWO)
Eze missed this international break through injury, but is still a player that Southgate is keeping a close eye on.
His issue is Bellingham and Maddison are ahead of him when it comes to picking England’s most advanced midfielder.
The Palace star does offer something slightly different to England’s other creative outlets, though, and will still fancy his chances of making it to Germany.
24. Ollie Watkins (UP 11)
Watkins has hit his stride since the last international break, scoring four times for Aston Villa, and he got on the scoresheet against Australia to give Southgate’s men a narrow win.
With Kane established as England’s No 9, the race to be his understudy is firmly on.
Watkins made the most of his opportunity at Wembley, meaning he jumps ahead of his competitors for that role for now.
25. Aaron Ramsdale (DOWN EIGHT)
It has been a testing month for Ramsdale after he lost his place in Arsenal’s starting XI to David Raya.
He was then overlooked for the friendly against Australia, as Sam Johnstone got the nod instead.
This may have just been Southgate wanting to give Johnstone a rare chance having seen what Ramsdale can do in the past, but it was also a warning for Ramsdale that if he continues to not play at club level, he risks missing out on a place in Germany next summer as well.
Aaron Ramsdale did not feature in either match, and has lost his place in the Arsenal line-up
26. Sam Johnstone (NON-MOVER)
Johnstone stays where he is despite starting ahead of Ramsdale last week.
If Pickford was unavailable, the suspicion is Ramsdale would still just get the nod over the Palace shot-stopper, but it is a tighter call than a few months ago.
Should Ramsdale remain on the bench at Arsenal, Johnstone could jump above him permanently when the next international break comes around.
27. Levi Colwill (UP FOUR)
Colwill is starting every week for Chelsea and made his international debut against Australia to continue his eye-catching rise.
Whether playing at left back is a long-term option for him remains up for debate, but he has bundles of talent and will only get better over the coming months.
The 20-year-old youngster still shows signs of inexperience and has work to do to force his way onto the plane, but he is moving in the right direction.
28. Fikayo Tomori (UP ONE)
Tomori has looked back to his best at AC Milan this season after an inconsistent campaign last year.
He was rewarded for this by starting against Australia, but he looked a little nervy and was subsequently dropped from the matchday squad for the clash with Italy.
It was a step in the right direction for him to play from the start last week, but it seems Southgate is still not fully convinced, and if he had to pick his squad for the Euros right now, Tomori would probably just miss out.
Fikayo Tomori still has work to do to ensure he makes the plane to Germany next summer
29. Mason Mount (DOWN ONE)
Mount was left out of the squad again having previously been a favourite of Southgate’s.
He has only played a couple of times since an injury ruled him out for over a month, so it would be harsh to drop him too far down this list as match sharpness will have been a factor in his omission.
However, his start to life at United is a worry and he has work to do to get himself back into Southgate’s team.
30. Eddie Nketiah (NON-MOVER)
Nketiah was limited to a handful of minutes against Australia, before being omitted from the matchday squad against Italy.
The 24-year-old has become a regular starter for Arsenal, but still has to prove that he belongs at international level.
Southgate views Kane and Watkins as better options, and Nketiah is now under pressure to keep his place in the squad, with the England boss likely to take just three strikers to Germany.
31. Jarrod Bowen (UP THREE)
Bowen has rediscovered his best form, netting five goals already this season to fire West Ham into the top seven.
This earned him an England recall, but Saka and Foden are some way clear of him in the pecking order.
If he keeps shining for West Ham he could make next year’s squad – and Southgate rates him – but it’s a tall order.
Jarrod Bowen earned an England recall, but competition for places on the right wing is fierce
32. Callum Wilson (DOWN SEVEN)
Wilson missed out on the squad this time around, and is playing second fiddle to Alexander Isak at Newcastle more often than not this season.
He still pops up with crucial goals for the Magpies, and his goalscoring record over the years has been impressive, but Southgate may be looking to move on from the 31-year-old now.
When you factor in Wilson’s concerning fitness record as well, he may find it difficult to make the plane next summer.
33. Raheem Sterling (DOWN ONE)
Sterling has looked sharp in the opening weeks of the season at Chelsea, but has been unable to convince Southgate to put him back in his squad.
Having previously been one of the first names on the teamsheet, that is no longer the case.
There is still time for Sterling to force his way back in, and Southgate may decide his extra experience is needed in Germany, but Bowen being picked for this squad ahead of him offered another sign that Sterling’s days at international level may be numbered.
34. Nick Pope (DOWN SEVEN)
Pope was left out of last month’s squad after a disappointing display against Brighton as Newcastle slipped to a 3-1 defeat. Missing out this time was more of a surprise.
The shot-stopper has had a good month on Tyneside as Eddie Howe’s men have found form, but has been overlooked once more.
Perhaps Southgate doesn’t trust Pope’s ability with the ball at his feet, and the Newcastle star may now be relying on Ramsdale missing out at Arsenal in order for him to get another look-in for the Three Lions.
35. James Ward-Prowse (DOWN TWO)
What does Ward-Prowse have to do to get back into the England squad?
He has settled in brilliantly at West Ham, but remains out of favour with Southgate.
The England manager continues to pick Phillips, Henderson and Gallagher ahead of him, and time is running out for Ward-Prowse to change Southgate’s mind.
36. Anthony Gordon (UP TWO)
Gordon struggled to get up to speed with Newcastle’s ferocious intensity when he joined from Everton in January, but he has taken his game to another level this term.
He has two goals and two assists to his name in the Premier League, and must have been close to making the squad this time around.
If he keeps playing at his current level, a maiden call-up cannot be too far away.
Anthony Gordon has starred for Newcastle this season and could be closing in on a call-up
37. Curtis Jones (UP TWO)
Jones finished last season strongly before helping England Under-21s win the Euros over the summer.
A couple of injury setbacks have slightly limited his game time this season, but he has still started matches despite Liverpool’s midfield overhaul.
He has won the Liverpool fans over after a couple of inconsistent seasons, and is a player Southgate will have on his radar.
38. Morgan Gibbs-White (DOWN TWO)
Gibbs-White has not done an awful lot wrong since coming up to the Premier League with Nottingham Forest, but the competition for places in the advanced midfield role is fierce.
Southgate has so much talent at his disposal in the shape of Bellingham, Maddison and Eze that it is hard to see where Gibbs-White fits in.
The 23-year-old may need an injury or two to key players before he can get into the squad.
39. Rico Lewis (UP ONE)
Lewis was actually picked ahead of Phillips for City’s trip to Arsenal before the international break, but Southgate evidently sees things differently to Pep Guardiola.
Lewis is only 18, but plays with maturity beyond his years, and is one of the brightest English talents in the Premier League.
His time will come, but the Euros may just come a little too soon for him.
Rico Lewis has broken into Pep Guardiola’s Man City team, but is still waiting for an England call-up
40. Harvey Elliott (DOWN THREE)
Elliott has been restricted to cameo appearances off the bench at Anfield this season, and it isn’t easy to see that changing any time soon.
With Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai now at the club, and Mohamed Salah looking better than ever on the wing, Elliott is just a squad player for now.
He is not playing enough to get into the England team, but remains one for the future having only turned 20 in April.
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