Ezri Konsa


As England’s round of 16 tie with Slovakia entered stoppage time on Sunday evening, the last thought in the minds of English supporters would’ve been Marc Guehi’s replacement for the quarter-finals.

The Crystal Palace defender has enjoyed a fine Euro 2024 deputising for Harry Maguire, arguably being the Three Lions’ standout performer amid a drab tournament.

England were 1-0 down and heading for a deserved humiliation when Rade Obrenović revealed there were another six additional minutes to be played. Four-and-a-half minutes into that extended period, the moment arrived.

No matter how this campaign ends for England, Jude Bellingham’s acrobatic majesty will be remembered in perpetuity. Harry Kane’s subsequent header at the start of extra-time means the Three Lions now have a quarter-final against Switzerland to consider, and Gareth Southgate has a selection headache at centre-back.

Guehi’s first-half booking on Sunday was his second of Euro 2024 and he’ll thus be suspended for Saturday’s game. Here are his potential replacements.

Ezri KonsaEzri Konsa

Konsa came off the bench in extra-time against Slovakia / Jonathan Moscrop/GettyImages

Fresh off an excellent season with Aston Villa, Konsa appears the most likely candidate to partner John Stones in Dusseldorf on Saturday.

Criminally overlooked by Southgate for quite some time, Konsa, who also functioned as a right-back for Unai Emery’s side last season, finally earned his first cap in March earlier this year having failed to make his debut following his maiden call-up last November.

Konsa has since played five times for his country, including a substitute appearance in extra-time during Sunday’s last 16 win over Slovakia. His inclusion while England were seeing the game out suggests he’ll be the next man up in Guehi’s absence.

“I’m always ready,” the Villa defender said ahead of a potential start against the Swiss. Konsa has big boots to fill.

Lewis DunkLewis Dunk

Lewis Dunk hasn’t shown his best form in an England shirt / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

It wasn’t just the hipsters who wanted Jarrad Branthwaite in Southgate’s 26-man squad. The vast majority of supporters believed the young Everton defender was a worthy addition over Brighton’s Lewis Dunk.

Dunk has struggled to manifest his very best for England – notably making a recovery error during a 2-2 draw with Belgium in March. 2023/24 certainly wasn’t Dunk’s finest work, but he nonetheless seems to have earned the trust of Southgate.

The Brighton captain is a serene ball player with progressive tendencies. He could aid England’s flagging build-up by taking a risk or two with the ball, is comfortable playing as the left-sided centre-back, and is often a threat when attacking set-pieces.

Dunk certainly has his perks, but a start on Saturday appears unlikely – even if he won’t match up against Romelu Lukaku.

Joe GomezJoe Gomez

Joe Gomez may be needed at left-back / Richard Sellers/Allstar/GettyImages

Very few would’ve had Gomez in their projected Euro 2024 squads 12 months ago, but the versatile defender’s inclusion this summer was fully deserved after enjoying a bounce-back season at Anfield.

The once precocious Gomez impressed during Jurgen Klopp’s final season at Liverpool, emerging as a vital mitigator while Andy Robertson nursed a shoulder injury. He grew comfortable in a left-back role and was picked by Southgate this summer for his versatility.

Gomez, of course, came through as a centre-back and the majority of his 15 England caps have arrived at the heart of the defence. He hasn’t played at Euro 2024 yet, however, and he’s behind Konsa and Dunk in the centre-back depth chart.

But, Kieran Trippier’s potential absence on Saturday through injury means Gomez has a chance at starting as Southgate’s left-back. The manager could also match the Swiss up and deploy a back three with Dunk and Gomez potentially pushing for starts alongside Kyle Walker and Stones.



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