England's 26-man roster for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar was revealed by manager Gareth Southgate on Thursday, November 10.
Many of the selections didn't come as a surprise, though a few of them and certain omissions left fans in a tizzy. The Three Lions manager had the difficult task of selecting only 26 players from the endless pool of talent available at his disposal.
Chelsea duo Reece James and Ben Chilwell are the only major absentees through injury. There have been concerns about the fitness of Manchester City's Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips. However, both have made it into what is, on paper at least, a strong roster for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Under Gareth Southgate's tutelage, England finished the 2018 FIFA World Cup in fourth place and as the runners-up at UEFA Euro 2020. The Three Lions have shown consistency in recent tournaments and will be looking to find that extra gear in Qatar.
The manager has largely picked players who have served him well previously to take the flight to Qatar. There are a few surprise selections such as Conor Gallagher and Jordan Henderson.
As is the case with any national team squad, however, several quality players will be left at home for the tournament.
Without further ado, here is a list of the five best players who have been left out of England's roster for the FIFA World Cup.
#5 Ivan Toney
Brentford striker Ivan Toney is one of the most ruthless finishers in the Premier League right now. He has, however, failed to really impress England manager Southgate enough to warrant a place on the plane to Qatar.
Toney has been impressive at club level for Brentford since arriving in the Premier League in 2021. He has been on fire this season as well, recording nine goals and three assists in 15 appearances across all competitions this season.
Many have questioned Southgate's decision to leave him behind due to the nature of England's Euro 2020 final defeat - via a penalty shootout. Toney is an accomplished penalty taker, and fans expected him to be in the squad thanks to his added expertise in case of shootouts.
However, Toney's omission from the FIFA World Cup roster was also expected on some level. Callum Wilson's experience and form for Newcastle United has seen him earn him a call-up for the marquee tournament in Qatar.
Toney is still awaiting his first cap for the Three Lions despite receiving his maiden call-up in September 2022.
#4 James Ward-Prowse
Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse was surprisingly dropped from England's FIFA World Cup squad by Southgate. The 28-year-old is at the peak of his powers and is a decent option to have off the bench in games.
Ward-Prowse is one of the Premier League's most consistent midfielders at the moment. He is the first name on Southampton's team sheet and has been ever-present for the Saints over the years. The playmaker has scored two goals and an assist in 15 appearances across all competitions for his club this season.
For all of his evident talent and quality, Ward-Prowse has made only 11 appearances for England since his debut in 2017. The Southampton man has never made his national team's squad for a major tournament.
He last featured for the Three Lions in a goalless draw against Italy in June this year.
#3 Jadon Sancho
As he rose through the ranks of Manchester City and showing the world his undeniable abilities at Borussia Dortmund, Jadon Sancho was considered to be one of the next big things in English football. The winger was a regular for Southgate and performed well until his transfer to Manchester United.
He has now been left out of the squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, seemingly on the basis of his performances at Old Trafford
Sancho was pursued for more than two years by Manchester United, and they finally got their man last summer. However, he has been underwhelming to say the least.
The 22-year-old winger has struggled for form and consistency at Old Trafford over the past two seasons under four different managers. He has three goals and an assist in 14 appearances across competitions for the Red Devils this season.
Sancho shone throughout his time in the Bundesliga and quickly became an England regular after making his debut aged just 18. He has 23 international caps to his name and even featured at Euro 2020.
The winger's last international appearance came in October 2021 when Southgate's men defeated Andorra 5-0.
#2 Fikayo Tomori
AC Milan defender Fikayo Tomori is another player who was surprisingly dropped from the FIFA World Cup squad by Southgate. The centre-back was expected to be in the squad because of his quality and consistency, though he has struggled at times this season.
Tomori left the English shores for Italy in search of regular football, and found it at the San Siro. He quickly became a key player for AC Milan and played a key role in helping them win Serie A in the 2021-22 season.
The 24-year-old has featured 19 times across all competitions for the Rossoneri this season and has been one of the best defenders in Italy since his arrival.
However, Tomori has not been a regular choice for the Three Lions despite his exploits at club level. The Canada-born defender has made only three appearances for England throughout his career.
His last international appearance came in June this year in a UEFA Nations League match against Italy.
#1 Tammy Abraham
Tammy Abraham is yet another surprise exclusion from England's 2022 FIFA World Cup squad. The AS Roma striker was hopeful of getting called up for the tournament but has seemingly fallen by a couple of spots in the pecking order.
Abraham, like Tomori, moved from England to Italy in search of regular football. The lanky striker has had considerable success in his time in Italy, as he helped AS Roma win the UEFA Europa Conference League in 2022.
He has had a slow start to the 2022-23 season, however, with only four goals and two assists in 19 appearances across competitions.
Abraham is a full England international, having made his debut in 2017. The striker has made 11 appearances for the Three Lions and has three goals to his name. His last appearance for his country was in June 2022.
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