James Trafford


So, Gareth Southgate has done it. The England manager has made the necessary cuts and whittled his original 33-player preliminary Euro 2024 squad down to the final 26.

One goalkeeper, three defenders, one midfielder and two forwards have been let go and will not be on the plane to Germany for the tournament that begins on 14 June.

Southgate saw his team win 3-0 over Bosnia & Herzegovina in a warm-up friendly on Monday and made his decisions well ahead of UEFA’s deadline. The final farewell against Iceland at Wembley on Friday will now be played with the 26-strong group will be going to the Euros.

90min assesses whether those missed out deserved their fate…

James TraffordJames Trafford

James Trafford was called up after his season with Burnley / Warren Little/GettyImages

Playing in League One as recently as last season and with just one campaign of Premier League football under his belt, James Trafford’s inclusion in the preliminary group came as a surprise and was perhaps indicative of the lack of depth in the goalkeeping position.

The 21-year-old will be well served by the experience of being part of the England setup, but was always the likely contender to be cut from the original four goalkeepers selected.

Right decision? Yes.

Harry MaguireHarry Maguire

Harry Maguire was ruled out due to injury / Richard Pelham/GettyImages

It’s not really up for debate that Harry Maguire would have been going to Euro 2024 but for injury, having been a key starter for Southgate at three successive tournaments since 2018 and playing some of the best football of his career in an England shirt.

But a calf problem and the battle to be fit in time to play a meaningful part in Germany, rather than being a wasted jersey on the periphery, was too much. Maguire hasn’t played at all since 27 April, missing the last month of the club season with Manchester United, so when he still wasn’t able to train properly by the time the final squad decision needed to be made, it was too late.

Right decision? Yes.

Jarrad BranthwaiteJarrad Branthwaite

Plenty of fans wanted Jarrad Branthwaite to stay / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Even though he didn’t make it this time, what’s almost certain is Jarrad Branthwaite being a cornerstone of England squads in the future. This occasion was perhaps just too soon for the Everton centre-back, having only made his debut against Bosnia last week.

That being said, the obvious quality that he possesses, even at just 21, made his exclusion from the final squad slightly surprising. One can only assume that Southgate values the greater versatility offered by Joe Gomez and Ezri Konsa more at this moment in time, but Branthwaite is most naturally two-footed of the trio and most suitable to flipping into a back three if needed.

Right decision? No.

Jarell Quansah was a surprise choice in the first placeJarell Quansah was a surprise choice in the first place

Jarell Quansah was a surprise choice in the first place / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

That Jarell Quansah’s entire senior career prior to this season amounted to 16 appearances on loan at Bristol Rovers in League One is testament to the year he’s had. The Liverpool youngster grabbed the opportunity presented by Jurgen Klopp with both hands and has a bright future ahead.

But, on experience alone, he was always likely to be one of those cut from this squad.

Right decision? Yes.

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Curtis Jones was part of an England group for the first timeCurtis Jones was part of an England group for the first time

Curtis Jones was part of an England group for the first time / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Given that he’s been a steady Liverpool player for more than four years during the club’s most concentrated period of success since the 1980s, it’s a little surprising that Curtis Jones had never been chosen for a senior England squad before now.

But the 23-year-old was one of the first couple of players cut, without getting on the pitch against Bosnia for his debut. Bearing in mind the other midfielders he was directly competing with, Jones probably offered less than those who remain.

Right decision? Yes.

James Maddison went public after being droppedJames Maddison went public after being dropped

James Maddison went public after being dropped / Richard Sellers/Allstar/GettyImages

James Maddison was pretty blunt in his public statement after Southgate cut him from the squad. Stating his respect for the manager, the Tottenham star deserves applause in recognising that his form at club level probably hadn’t been good enough, although he still felt in himself that his performances in training since reporting for duty would have got him through.

England have got more unpredictable explosiveness in Jarrod Bowen and Eberchi Eze, who survive.

Right decision? Yes.

Jack GrealishJack Grealish

Jack Grealish has played 36 times for England / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Jack Grealish was the ultimate form vs reputation choice for Southgate. Here was a £100m player who had been to the last two tournaments with England, yet one who was far from his best at club level during the season. The manager opted for lower profile individuals doing well.

It is the kind of ruthlessness that England bosses have perhaps been afraid to show in the past and the confidence given to the likes of Bowen, Eze, Ollie Watkins, Anthony Gordon and others from such a clear display of trust in them over a more established player could be a psychological masterstroke.

Right decision? Yes.

Declan Rice, Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham celebrate a goal for EnglandDeclan Rice, Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham celebrate a goal for England

Declan Rice, Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham are key to England’s chances / Insidefoto/GettyImages

Name

Club

Caps

Goals

Dean Henderson

Crystal Palace

1

0

Jordan Pickford

Everton

61

0

Aaron Ramsdale

Arsenal

4

0

Name

Club

Caps

Goals

Lewis Dunk

Brighton

6

0

Joe Gomez

Liverpool

14

0

Marc Guehi

Crystal Palace

10

0

Ezri Konsa

Aston Villa

3

0

Luke Shaw

Manchester United

31

3

John Stones

Manchester City

71

3

Kieran Trippier

Newcastle United

47

1

Kyle Walker

Manchester City

82

1

Name

Club

Caps

Goals

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Liverpool

24

3

Jude Bellingham

Real Madrid

29

3

Conor Gallagher

Chelsea

13

0

Kobbie Mainoo

Manchester United

2

0

Declan Rice

Arsenal

50

3

Adam Wharton

Crystal Palace

1

0

Name

Club

Caps

Goals

Jarrod Bowen

West Ham United

8

0

Eberechi Eze

Crystal Palace

3

0

Phil Foden

Manchester City

33

4

Anthony Gordon

Newcastle United

2

0

Harry Kane (c)

Bayern Munich

90

63

Cole Palmer

Chelsea

3

1

Bukayo Saka

Arsenal

32

11

Ivan Toney

Brentford

2

1

Ollie Watkins

Aston Villa

12

3

Caps & goals up to date as of 3 June 2024 after Bosnia & Herzegovina friendly.



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