A Look at England’s 2018 World Cup Squad
With the World Cup fast approaching, we take a brief look at Gareth Southgate’s 23-man squad for the tournament.
At 25 years old, Harry Kane has had 23 caps and scored 12 goals for England. Kane has excelled for Tottenham this season and has scored seven goals in his last six England games. He is a potential team captain in Russia and he is sure to feel a great deal of pressure. Fans will be hoping that he copes well and brings his best form.
Jamie Vardy has had 21 caps for England to date and scored 7 goals. He has had a good season at Leicester City, scoring heavily but many think that he will feature mainly as the team’s Plan B in Russia. Despite this, he has remained impressive ever since his goal scoring took Leicester to the Premier League title back in 2016.
Marcus Rashford is one of the younger members of the team, just 20 years old. However, he exploded onto the scene scoring twice in his Manchester United debut, twice on his league debut, in his first Manchester derby. He also scored in the third minute of his England debut and in his first European semi-final and his Champions League debut. However, he seems to have lost some form under Mourinho at United so it is not clear how central a role he will take in Russia.
Danny Welbeck has already had 37 caps and scored 14 goals for England at 27 years old. A number of injuries have blighted his career but he regularly demonstrates that he is a creative player with great pace. He is unlikely to have a starting place in the team, but is a great option to have on the bench and is a very good penalty taker.
Many were surprised by the inclusion of midfielder Delph in the squad given that he hasn’t been called up for England for three years. However, he was impressive at Manchester City this season and this could have given him the confidence to deliver the goods in Russia.
While Ruben Loftus-Cheek joined Chelsea when he was eight, he has only made a few appearances since debuting in 2014 and has had just two caps for England. He spent this season at Crystal Palace where he demonstrated excellent composure and he showed that he can play as an attacking or defensive midfielder. He was impressive in his England debut against Germany, but while he shows promise, it is far from certain he will be able to make much of an impact at the World Cup.
Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard has already had 10 caps for England. He is a speedy and decisive player, but on occasion he seems to disappear in games and it is because of this that he is not an automatic choice for club nor country. He will be competing with the likes of Dele Alli and Marcus Rashford for starting places this summer but his habit of scoring at crucial times should make him interesting to watch.
Tottenham Hotspur’s Dele Alli has enjoyed 23 caps and scored 2 goals from England. Many consider him to be one of the best young players in the Premier League at 22 years old. However, he had a disappointing season in 2017/18. At his best he is creative, energetic and attacking and if he can find this form then he could be a real asset to the team in Russia.
Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson has had 38 caps for England but never scored. He has captained England five times under Southgate and has participated in the Euro 2012 and 2016 and the last World Cup. He was excellent against the Netherlands earlier this year and if he can remain focused he could prove himself key to the starting XI.
Another of Tottenham Hotspur’s defenders, Eric Dier is known to prefer to play in defence. However, Southgate is likely to use him in midfield where his defensive ability gels with his knack for long, intelligent passes. He is likely to be a crucial member of the starting XI and is known for his attacking free kicks. He has had 25 caps in which he scored 3 goals.
Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold is the baby of the squad and is as yet uncapped. However, he was extremely impressive this season and his strong runs forward, impressive crosses and focus made him an excellent right back. Furthermore, as he showed in Liverpool’s Champions League play-off win over Hoffenheim, he can take excellent free kicks.
Manchester United’s Ashley Young has reinvented himself as a full-back or wing-back under Jose Mourinho having previously played as a winger. He was so impressive this season that there is a good chance of him starting in Russia. He has been capped 33 times in the past and scored 7 goals for England.
Another Tottenham Hotspur player, Kieran Trippier has had five caps for England in the past. There is a good chance that he will be starting at right wing-back in Russia, where he can work with his club-mate Harry Kane and also take advantage of another Spurs player, Eric Dier. Trippier progressed through the England youth ranks but he didn’t make his senior debut until the World Cup qualifier against Scotland in June.
Leicester City’s Harry Maguire has had four caps for England. He is known for his composure under pressure and his well-spotted passes, making him an attractive prospect for Gareth Southgate. It is likely that he will be given a position on the left side of England’s back three, where he has already made a promising start to his international career.
In addition to being famous for his facial expressions, Manchester United’s Phil Jones is well known for the headfirst sliding tackle. He has been performing far better at Manchester United than at Tottenham, but it seems unlikely that he will be starting very often. Nonetheless, he is certainly a capable player as shown by his 24 caps.
Gareth Southgate is known to like putting a full-back on one side of his defensive trio and Manchester City’s Kyle Walker seems to be his preferred choice. This is due to Walker’s ability to carry the ball through or around challenges, maintain pace with the fastest of opponents, and hit long passes with accuracy. He has enjoyed 34 caps for England and at one time he was the world’s most expensive defender when City signed him from Spurs for £53 million.
Gary Cahill is a Chelsea veteran who has enjoyed 58 caps for England. While he has been at Chelsea since 2011, he was benched for the team’s key games against Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham, as well as both legs of the Champions League match with Barcelona this season. Southgate does not seem too sure about Cahill’s inclusion so it is unlikely that he will have a place in the starting XI.
Tottenham Hotspur’s Danny Rose is certainly not known for his modesty, and while injured last year he gave an interview in which he was full of praise for his own ability. That said, upon his return from injury he struggled to replace Ben Davies on the left side of Tottenham’s defence and he may find himself on the bench during this tournament. He has had 16 previous caps for England.
Manchester City’s John Stones has had 24 caps for England. When he made his £50 million move to City in August 2016 there were high hopes for the young player. However, he seems to have faded somewhat in recent times and his quality on the ball has become unreliable. He was not a regular starter for City this season and his main hope will be Southgate’s desire for a ball-playing centre-back.
Burnley’s Nick Pope is one of the three goalkeepers that Southgate is taking to Russia. He is uncapped and his place in the squad is due to Southgate’s philosophy that in-form players should be rewarded. Pope was able to come to the fore this season because of Tom Heaton’s injury and he has made a number of crucial saves for Burnley, helping them qualify for Europe.
Everton’s Jordan Pickford became the most expensive British goalkeeper in history when he moved to Everton for £30 million in June last year. He is well respected for his temperament and shot-stopping ability. He has two previous caps and is likely to see some action in the coming tournament.
Jack Butland made his international debut back in 2012 and has had just seven caps over the last six years. However, he was forced to miss Euro 2016 due to a fractured angle. He was considered the first pick for England after being named in the XI for the qualifier in Lithuania, but since then a few huge mistakes for Stoke City might have cost him his starting position.