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Euro 2024 squad: England manager Gareth Southgate gets bold selection calls right

Written by on June 6, 2024

Eze falls into the same category. Exciting and fearless – just what is needed at a major tournament.

The Palace forward has edged in ahead of 28-year-old Grealish, a selection that is bound to spark much comment, especially as the Manchester City player is such a popular figure with England fans.

Measured in football terms, however, Eze is the only choice Southgate could have made on form at the end of the season. If City manager Pep Guardiola was unconvinced by Grealish, why should Southgate feel different?

This will, however, be a selection that will be thrown back at Southgate should England fail at Euro 2024. For the avoidance of doubt, this observer believes Southgate has got it right.

Manchester United central defender Harry Maguire is a different case. If he had been anywhere near fit he would have been selected. For all the conversation around his recent form at club level, Southgate would have pencilled him in to start against Serbia in Gelsenkirchen.

Southgate will regard Maguire’s absence as a serious blow. It means Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi is in line to partner John Stones, while Liverpool’s Joe Gomez and Aston Villa defender Ezri Konsa add versatility and adaptability.

England’s squad has a bold and fresh look, feeding into the optimism that surrounds their chances at Euro 2024.

Southgate has avoided the conundrum of deciding between Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins and Brentford’s Ivan Toney as potential deputy to captain Harry Kane by picking both – adding to the feeling that England’s manager is adopting a positive approach to his squad and Euro 2024.

There will be much discussion around Southgate’s picks for Germany, but his critics cannot accuse him of dodging the big decisions and this looks like an England squad that can travel to Germany with high hopes.

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