Eurosport

Jadon Sancho IN, Trent Alexander-Arnold IN: We pick England's World Cup squad

Sancho IN, Alexander-Arnold IN: We pick England's World Cup squad

14/05/2018 at 16:41Updated 14/05/2018 at 20:05

Following the end of the Premier League season, excitement is starting to build towards the World Cup – especially as England boss Gareth Southgate is due to name his 23-man squad on Wednesday.

England have until after their friendly against Nigeria on June 2 to name their travelling party to Russia but Southgate is believed to be keen to provide clarity as early as possible and will name his final pick this week.

Injuries have deprived Southgate of the likes of Joe Gomez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain since the friendlies against Netherlands and Italy in March, while players such as Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jonjo Shelvey, Ryan Sessegnon and Jadon Sancho are all making late pushes for inclusion.

But who should be in the final 23? We canvassed 13 of our journalists and compiled their votes to give you the definitive decision of the Eurosport team. We will divulge the full details of the vote, and the reasons behind each pick, on Tuesday.

Then on Wednesday, we will reveal the result of the public vote. So make sure you use the tool and share your 23-man squad on social media to get your votes in!

[MY WORLD CUP SQUAD: PICK YOUR 23 PLAYERS FOR ENGLAND]

GOALKEEPERS

Goalkeepers Jordan Pickford, Joe Hart, Jack Butland and Nick Pope look on during an England training session

Goalkeepers Jordan Pickford, Joe Hart, Jack Butland and Nick Pope look on during an England training sessionGetty Images

One of the biggest questions around Southgate's squad pick will be whether Joe Hart's shocking form with West Ham this season has cost him his place despite starting nine of the 10 World Cup qualifiers. In the two years since the qualifying process began, Jordan Pickford, first at Sunderland and now at Everton, Stoke's Jack Butland and latterly Nick Pope of Burnley have all turned in some classy performances. But in our poll of Eurosport journalists, Hart's experience was deemed a valuable asset and he makes the cut. Pope is the unlucky man to miss out from the four keepers Southgate named for the March friendlies - and Pickford's superior distribution means he is probably the best fit for an England team instructed to play out from the back.

  • On the plane: Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Joe Hart
  • Missing out: Nick Pope, Tom Heaton, Ben Foster, Fraser Forster

DEFENDERS

Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold insists he will not be fazed by the intimidating atmosphere of the Stadio Olimpico (Peter Byrne/PA).

Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold insists he will not be fazed by the intimidating atmosphere of the Stadio Olimpico (Peter Byrne/PA).PA Sport

England's defensive options are a moveable feast depending on form, availability and the formation Southgate will play, but some obvious picks emerge. With Southgate favouring a back three, John Stones and Harry Maguire are essential picks and we are also including Kyle Walker as a centre-back after Southgate trialled him in the position in the March friendlies with success. With Joe Gomez missing out due to injury, the door opens up again for Phil Jones, who has timed his return from injury perfectly at Manchester United. Gary Cahill, though, is a victim of his poor season at Chelsea and James Tarkowski's inexperience counts against him despite his recent international recognition.

If Walker is included as a member of the back three then England need an additional right-sided defender and that is great news for Trent Alexander-Arnold, the 19-year-old Liverpool sensation who has never been capped at senior level. His performances in Liverpool's run to the Champions League final have shown he relishes the big occasion - and if there is an English teenager playing in the biggest club game in football, he surely merits a place at the World Cup. Kieran Trippier joins him on the right and Fabian Delph is the support act to Ryan Bertrand on the left. Ashley Young had a shout after his form with United this season but Delph is a Premier League winner.

  • On the plane: Harry Maguire, John Stones, Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ryan Bertrand, Phil Jones, Fabian Delph
  • Missing out: Danny Rose, Gary Cahill, Alfie Mawson, Ashley Young, Michael Keane, Luke Shaw, Nathaniel Clyne, Aaron Cresswell, Chris Smalling, Ben Gibson, Ben Mee

MIDFIELDERS

Ruben Loftus-Cheek of England and IIkay Gundogan of Germany

Ruben Loftus-Cheek of England and IIkay Gundogan of GermanyGetty Images

The loss of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to injury has depleted Southgate's already far from convincing options in midfield and the manager will have to take a punt on a few players as he tries to fill his ranks. Eric Dier and Jordan Henderson are at least two solid and consistent options at the base of midfield and Jesse Lingard has enjoyed an impressive season for club and country. All are certainties for the 23. Under normal circumstances, Adam Lallana would be too. But the 2016 England Player of the Year has only started one Premier League game all season due to injury. It would be a gamble to take him - but with his class on the ball it's one we are willing to take.

Likewise, Jack Wilshere. The Arsenal midfielder's form has dipped recently, and those injury fears never quite go away, but he has started 29 matches this season. Wilshere missed the March friendlies due to injury and having not made an international appearance since Euro 2016 due to his fitness issues there are obvious concerns that he is not built for the demands of tournament football. But with so few options he has to make the cut. That leaves one more place. Jonjo Shelvey has enjoyed a superb end to the season with Newcastle but with Oxlade-Chamberlain out, we need a player who can carry the ball forward from midfield and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, despite having a patchy season for Crystal Palace, demonstrated he has the class to do just that with his excellent performance in the friendly against Germany back in November. So he makes the cut.

  • On the plane: Jordan Henderson, Eric Dier, Jack Wilshere, Adam Lallana, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek
  • Missing out: Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore, Jonjo Shelvey, Harry Winks, Nathaniel Chalobah, Ross Barkley, James Ward-Prowse, Phil Foden

FORWARDS

ortmund's English midfielder Jadon Sancho celebrates after scoring during the German first division Bundesliga football match Borussia Dortmund vs Bayer Leverkusen

ortmund's English midfielder Jadon Sancho celebrates after scoring during the German first division Bundesliga football match Borussia Dortmund vs Bayer LeverkusenGetty Images

This is where our real wild card comes in... The majority of the attacking options look pretty much nailed on: Jamie Vardy, Dele Alli, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane are all assured of their places. The only question is with the sixth forward slot. Danny Welbeck's form has tailed off with Arsenal so our poll threw out the most exciting name in the squad in Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho. Only just 18, the electric winger has started five Bundesliga games in a row for Dortmund and has caught the eye with three goals and an assist. It would be a big gamble on Southgate's part, but picking an Under-17 World Cup winner from last year would be fitting recognition of England's progress at youth level over the past 12 months.

It's harsh on Welbeck, who always performs to a good standard for England, and leaving Andy Carroll at home deprives England of a Plan B. But Sancho is the most exciting uncapped player England possess and given he has been doing the business in the Bundesliga it would be far less reckless than taking Theo Walcott to the World Cup in 2006.

  • On the plane: Jamie Vardy, Dele Alli, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane, Jadon Sancho
  • Missing out: Danny Welbeck, Andy Carroll, Peter Crouch, Daniel Sturridge, Tammy Abraham, Dom Solanke, Rhian Brewster, Dominic Calvert-Lewis, Jermain Defoe, Theo Walcott, Ryan Sessegnon

OUR 23-MAN SQUAD FOR RUSSIA

  • Goalkeepers: Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Joe Hart
  • Defenders: Harry Maguire, John Stones, Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ryan Bertrand, Phil Jones, Fabian Delph
  • Midfielders: Jordan Henderson, Eric Dier, Jack Wilshere, Adam Lallana, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek
  • Forwards: Jamie Vardy, Dele Alli, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane, Jadon Sancho
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