Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse will reportedly remain in England’s final 26-man squad for Euro 2020 and push Liverpool and Manchester United players out of plans in the process.
According to football writer Graeme Bailey, Ward-Prowse will stay in Gareth Southgate’s group because of the inclusion of an extra midfield option. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mason Greenwood could be two of the biggest names to miss out.
Bailey also states that Bukayo Saka and Ollie Watkins will be cut from the provisional squad, with seven players to be sent back home before the European Championships kick off on 11th June.
If this information is to be proven correct, Ward-Prowse really will deserve it. Supporters of other clubs may wonder why, but Saints fans have seen him play every minute of the past two seasons and become a dominant, all-round midfielder in their attack and ahead of their defence.
This Southgate decision would be a boost to Southampton and others
Gareth Southgate seems to have a settled group of midfield options right now. Youth and some experience make up what is a good look to his seven players capable of playing a central role in his team.
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Thankfully, he seems to be rewarding players for strong and consistent Premier League showings and is not frightened of straying outside the top sides to find what he needs.
Kalvin Phillips of Leeds and Declan Rice of West Ham are also set to be rewarded for superb seasons of their own.
It is good to see that some players from the top sides could miss out to make way for the likes of Ward-Prowse. There was talk of Trent Alexander-Arnold becoming a central-midfield option, but there would be no point in Ward-Prowse actually trying to make an impression if he lost a place in his specialist role to someone who has not yet played there.
Form is certainly what needs to be considered with international picks from now on and there will undoubtedly be many switches in the Three Lions’ squad over the coming years – mainly because there is a wealth of options for each position on the pitch.
It will be Ward-Prowse’s turn to impress in this tournament but he will need to keep his current standards up when others come back into some form.