Gareth Southgate faces tough Euro 2020 decision with England's glut of wide options - Too Interesting

Gareth Southgate faces tough Euro 2020 decision with England’s glut of wide options

England boss Gareth Southgate is dealing with central striking issues, but has a plethora of options out wide – with Leicester’s Harvey Barnes the latest to take his eye

Gareth Southgate must wish he had such a wealth of options in other departments in his England squad.

But while England sweat on Harry Kane’s fitness up front, could do with another centre half, and continue to look for a midfield anchorman, the wide areas are extremely well stocked.

And now Harvey Barnes is the latest player to be on Southgate’s radar after his impressive form for Leicester as they chase down a top four place.

The England boss could run the rule over Barnes on Friday night when Leicester go to Wolves ahead of naming his squad for next month’s friendlies with Italy and Denmark.

The 22-year-old has already represented England at under-21 level but has really shone this season, scoring four goals and also providing six assists.

It would still be a long shot for Barnes to gatecrash the Euros but only because Southgate has so many players pushing for places.

Raheem Sterling is England’s leading light when it comes to slotting into the 4-3-3 system which is now Southgate’s preferred formation with two wide players either side of Kane as the centre forward.

Marcus Rashford, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Jadon Sancho are all in the mix and played a part in the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.

But England also have Southampton’s in-form Nathan Redmond knocking on the door for an England recall as Southgate has always been a big fan since his under-21 days.

Jack Grealish is also set to be in the next England squad with the Aston Villa talisman almost certain to get called up for the friendlies.

Grealish is in contention for the Euro 2020 squad but the bigger question rather than if is where, because he has often played wide in Villa’s front three this season rather than in midfield.

That could give Southgate one more player to think about as he tries to whittle down his squad to 23 players for the summer.

Sterling pulled a hamstring at Tottenham nine days ago but is expected to be fit for Manchester City’s Champions League tie at Real Madrid on February 26.

Rashford is also on his way back from a back injury but is confident of being fit well before the end of the season.

The Manchester United striker is an option through the middle, especially with Kane yet to name a return date from his hamstring problem.

Sancho had a major dip in form this season but has bounced back with incredible stats for Borussia Dortmund which now pushes his claim to start the Euros.

Sancho has scored 12 goals and provided 13 assists this season to establish him as one of Europe’s hottest properties.

Hudson-Odoi broke through into the England set-up last year, making his debut in March after also helping England under-17s win the World Cup in 2017.

But the 19-year-old has struggled to reach his peak fitness and form levels this season, having suffered a ruptured Achilles last April, an injury he admitted he worried could end his career.

It probably helps Southgate stay committed to his 4-3-3 formation just as he went into the 2018 World Cup with a three at the back because it suited the players he had at his disposal.

Joe Gomez has now established himself back in the Liverpool team and looks stitched on for England and Southgate can only hope that Declan Rice rediscovers form at West Ham to solve the midfield anchorman issue.

There are other debates around the edges like who will start at right back or in goal, but Southgate will definitely not struggle to pick wingers this summer.

source:www.mirror.co.uk

 

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