5 players who could break into the England squad this week
It doesn’t feel like a long time at all since fans were enthralled by England’s run in the 2018 World Cup, and yet in just over a week it’ll be action time for Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions once again, as they face off with Spain in their first game in the new UEFA Nations League and against Switzerland in a friendly game.
Southgate is due to announce his squad this Thursday and with that in mind, England fans ought to expect some changes, and some new faces – some debutants, some making their return – appearing in the mix. World Cup veterans like Gary Cahill and Fabian Delph, for instance, have yet to kick a ball in 2018/19, meaning the likelihood of them being named is slim, and so replacements will be needed.
Based on the way they’ve started 2018/19 – as well as their prior form and reputation – fans can probably expect the following five players to be named by Southgate this week.
#1: Joe Gomez
With question marks over the England future of both Phil Jones and Gary Cahill, it’s pretty clear that a couple of spots will be arising in central defence for the Three Lions, and one player that can almost be guaranteed to capitalize on those gaps is Liverpool’s, Joe Gomez.
The 21-year-old made his England debut back in November’s friendly with Brazil where he shackled Neymar, and he probably would’ve gone to the World Cup itself had he not picked up an ankle injury in May – an injury that also ruled him out of the Champions League final that month.
Gomez has been back with a vengeance as 2018/19 has started, though – he’s formed a strong partnership with Virgil van Dijk at the center of Liverpool’s defence and has played 90 minutes in all three of their league games as the Reds have kept three successive clean sheets.
That kind of form would be enough in itself to force him into Southgate’s plans, but the fact that he also shows incredible composure on the ball – and already has a pass success rate of 89.7% in his three appearances this season – means he’s the perfect defender for the England boss’s system. In fact, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him start one of the upcoming games for England.