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Southgate rings changes with England squad for EURO 2024

6 Jun 2024
Southgate

Eze and Wharton among four Crystal Palace players IN, while Grealish, Maddison and Maguire are OUT

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Gareth Southgate has confirmed England's final 26-man squad for EURO 2024, 24 of whom are Premier League players.

Southgate has opted for a blend of youth and experience, handing places in his squad to 13 new players from the squad that went to Qatar for the FIFA 2022 World Cup.

Three of those are Crystal Palace's Marc Guehi, Eberechi Eze and Adam Wharton, who along with goalkeeper Dean Henderson make the Eagles England's best-represented Premier League club.

It has been an incredible rise in particular for 20-year-old Wharton, who was playing Championship football with Blackburn Rovers as recently as January, while only making his international debut in Monday night's 3-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Declan Rice, one of three Arsenal players called up - the second-most by a Premier League club - believes that Wharton is a "top-level" player, despite his inexperience at international level.

"I think there's a difference you can see in players who are top-level players at 20 and players that are on the cusp of stuff," said Rice. "And he's top-level.

"He sees a pass early, left and right foot. It's impressive the way he passes a ball. Whether it's five or 10 yards, there's just a crispness to it. Really impressive. Calm, composed, relaxed.

"You speak to the Crystal Palace boys about him, he's shocked them on how well he's done."

While the attention may be on England's exciting young attacking options including Eze, Manchester United's Kobbie Mainoo, EA SPORTS Player of the Season Phil Foden and Chelsea's Cole Palmer, there is plenty of experience in Southgate's final squad.

"Leadership is an very important part of any successful team," said Southgate. "We still have a lot of players with 50 or more caps - Jordan Pickford, Kyle Walker, John Stones, Declan Rice and Harry Kane. Kieran Trippier is very close to that figure.

"We have young leaders as well, so we've always been blessed that we have leaders in the group.

"The squad we wanted is the one we picked because we think it's the best squad that's equipped in this moment in time, and you are trying to balance experience with 11 players who have been to three tournaments or more with younger players who are playing so well we can't ignore what they're doing."

There was, however, heartbreak for seven players - James Maddison, Jack Grealish, Harry Maguire, Curtis Jones, James Trafford, Jarell Quansah and Jarrad Branthwaite - all of whom were cut from the preliminary squad.

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Maddison was just one of those to share his disappointment on social media.

England host Iceland in a friendly on Friday at Wembley in their final match before the tournament in Germany begins on Friday, 14 June.

England's 26-man squad

Goalkeepers:
Dean Henderson (Crystal Palace), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal).
Defenders: Lewis Dunk (Brighton), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Ezri Konsa (Aston Villa), Luke Shaw (Man Utd), John Stones (Man City), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), Kyle Walker (Man City).
Midfielders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Kobbie Mainoo (Man Utd), Declan Rice (Arsenal), Adam Wharton (Crystal Palace).
Forwards: Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid), Jarrod Bowen (West Ham), Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace), Phil Foden (Man City), Anthony Gordon (Newcastle), Harry Kane (Bayern Munich), Cole Palmer (Chelsea), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Ivan Toney (Brentford), Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa).

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