Gareth Southgate has named his 25-man squad for England’s upcoming friendlies against Switzerland and Cote D’Ivoire, and there were some controversial selections made.
Jadon Sancho, Fikayo Tomroi, Marcus Rashford, and others were left out, so let’s look at what they need to do to make Qatar’s 2022 World Cup squad.
I’m not a big fan of Gareth Southgate selecting Marc Geuhi over Tomori. He has been an absolute rock for AC Milan this season and has been a critical player in their thriving squad. They are currently in 1st in Serie A and boast the 4th best defense in the league.
How he can make the World Cup squad: Win the league with AC Milan, giving Southgate no choice. Tomori must be in this England side.
Dier is a player that has received more praise than most of his Tottenham teammates throughout the Mourinho, Nuno, and Conte eras. He’s improved dramatically this season and looks very comfortable in the middle of a back three. He’s excellent on the ball and knows how to put his body on the line.
How he can make the World Cup squad: Help Spurs finish the season out strongly and qualify for UCL. Continue to outperform other English center backs, as they are weak in the position.
Southgate has elected Conor Coady to be his center back from Wolves instead of the younger Kilman. He has arguably been better for Wolves than Coady this season, but the latter’s experience could give him the upper hand.
How he can make the World Cup squad: Outperform Coady for the rest of the season in a Wolves shirt.
If England is in a back four, Walker’s position is in the starting lineup is in extreme jeopardy. The three lions are overloaded in the right full-back position, and it would be difficult not to play Trent Alexander Arnold or Reece James over the City veteran.
He will be in the World Cup squad, given his defensive ability and experience, and Southgate has even recently said so. He’s using this break to access James and Alexander Arnold, who could steal that starting position.
How he can make the World Cup squad: Continue to be Kyle Walker. His versatility in defense is so valuable, and his experience will be needed for the tournament in Qatar.
Mitchell should have been selected for this international break, considering the lights-out season he’s had. With Chilwell injured and Shaw struggling, Mitchell could have made the position his own, but Southgate decided to leave the 22-year-old out. His tackling ability is top tier, and he could be England’s long-term solution at left-back.
How he can make the World Cup squad: If Shaw continues to struggle for United and Chilwell has a slow return from injury, Mitchell could be Southgate’s best option. He needs to continue to impress for Crystal Palace, and his time will come.
With the addition of Tino Livramento in Southampton’s squad, Walker-Peters has been pushed into a left-back position and has thrived since. England are weak at left-back, and Walker-Peters has a much better chance of making the squad if he plays in that position.
How he can make the World Cup squad: Prove his versatility as a full-back to Southgate and continue to perform excellently for Ralph Hassenhuttl.
Phillips was one of England’s most consistent players at the Euro’s in 2021; however, injuries have gotten the best of him this year. He was excellent in a double pivot with Declan Rice, although the competition in midfield for England has become so strong now.
How he can make the World Cup squad: If Phillips comes back from injury and picks up right where he left off, Southgate will have a tough decision to make. There are so many other quality options now like Conor Gallagher and James Ward-Prowse, so Phillips’ spot is in significant jeopardy.
I’m very confident Sancho will make England’s squad for Qatar. He is slowly refinding form after joining the Premier League and will be an essential player for Southgate in the future. Leaving him out of this break makes sense, as he has not been any better than a player like Bukayo Saka this season.
How he can make the World Cup squad: Finish the season strongly and improve game by game for United like he has been doing.
Bowen has been so unlucky not to get his first England call-up due to injury. He has had a spectacular season for West Ham, scoring and assisting eight goals apiece, and if he were fit, he definitely would have deserved to wear red and white.
How he can make the World Cup squad: Continue to perform as well as he has been and hope that Southgate respects what he has been doing in the Premier League. Bowen doesn’t have the England experience and doesn’t play for a top club in Europe; however, he is a player that is continuously improving and deserves to represent his national team.
Dropping Rashford from the England squad has not been an unpopular decision by Southgate. He has regressed massively this season, and the names ahead of him simply deserve it more.
How he can make the World Cup squad: In my opinion, Rashford is miles behind England’s other attackers at the moment, so I can’t see him getting into this side. Sterling, Bowen, Sancho, Grealish, Foden, Mount, Saka, and Emile-Smith Rowe have all performed better on the wing than Rashford this season, and he needs to impress many to get his career back on track.
Everton has just been abysmal this season, and Calvert-Lewin is partially responsible for that. While he has struggled with injuries, he has only scored three goals in the Premier League this season and doesn’t currently deserve to make the squad over Tammy Abraham.
How he can make the World Cup squad: Help Everton comfortably avoid relegation and outperform Abraham for the rest of the season. Harry Kane is irreplaceable, so there likely will only be one other striker position vacant.
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