England manager Gareth Southgate has named his provisional 33-man squad for the UEFA Euro 2020, picking up as many as four right-backs in the team.
While the likes of Kyle Walker, Reece James, Kieran Trippier, and Trent Alexander-Arnold have been picked, Manchester United’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka (AWB) failed to make the cut.
Southgate dropped Alexander-Arnold for England's previous fixtures in March, and while he has been named in the provisional squad, the Liverpool right-back’s chances of making it to the final 26-member team appear bleak.
Meanwhile, four uncapped players in Sam Johnstone (GK), Aaron Ramsdale (GK), Ben Godfrey (CB), and Ben White (CB) have found a place in the provisional squad too. The major names overlooked are goalkeeper Nick Pope, midfielders James Maddison, Dele Alli and forwards Patrick Bamford, Danny Ings, and Tammy Abraham.
As far as the right-back position is concerned, there has been a lot of debate over it. AWB remains one of the best one-on-one defenders at the moment, and while he has his fair share of quality, he essentially doesn’t fit in Southgate’s 3-4-3 approach.
"You're looking at four right-backs; I just see four good footballers," said Southgate during a press conference.
"Trippier can play at left-back. Alexander-Arnold can play at wing-back; I think he can play midfield. I've seen James play on the right side of a back three, at wing-back, and as a midfielder. Those flexible players who can fulfill different roles will be hugely important."
It goes without saying that this will be the most inexperienced squad England will field for a major tournament, given that 18 of the 33 players have won fewer than 10 caps.
What is a provisional squad in football?
Provisional meaning in simple terms is temporary/interim.
A provisional squad in football is an extensive list of players from which a manager chooses his final team for the given tournament. This list involves more members than the actual number of players allowed.
The Three Lions will trim down the 33-member provisional team to 26 before the June 1 deadline. Apart from England, the likes of Netherlands boss Frank de Boer and Italy coach Roberto Mancini have also named a provisional squad rather than the final members.
England provisional squad for Euro 2020
Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson, Sam Johnstone, Jordan Pickford, Aaron Ramsdale
Defenders: John Stones, Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kyle Walker, Tyrone Mings, Reece James, Conor Coady, Ben Chilwell, Ben Godfrey, Kieran Trippier, Ben White
Midfielders: Mason Mount, Declan Rice, Jordan Henderson, Jude Bellingham, Kalvin Phillips, Jesse Lingard, James Ward-Prowse
Forwards: Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Mason Greenwood, Ollie Watkins, Jadon Sancho, Bukayo Saka
Featured photo: AFP / Miguel Medina