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5 Players That Were Unlucky to Miss Out on the England Squad


5 Players That Were Unlucky to Miss Out on the England Squad

With England securing qualification for the European Championships next summer, places are up for grabs and players will want to stake a claim to put themselves in manager Gareth Southgate’s’ thoughts.

With the November Internationals getting up and running, we take a look at those England players who are unlucky not to be given a chance to break into the squad this time around when the Three Lions host Malta at Wembley and make the trip to North Macedonia.

Header logoEuro 2024 Qualifying - Group C

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Last updated 30/05/2024

Raheem Sterling | Club: Chelsea | Caps: 82 | Goals: 20

Having already notched up 82 international caps for England, Raheem Sterling has found himself outside the England squad in recent selections. He has bagged 20 international goals with 27 assists.

Following Sterling's move from Manchester City to Chelsea in the summer of 2022, the Blues have struggled to find form in the Premier League under Todd Boehly's ownership and that might be a contributing factor as to why he hasn’t been considered for the squad.

The 28-year-old has had a solid start on a personal note to the 23/24 campaign, scoring four goals and getting two assists in 12 matches which has put him in contention to be in the squad. Some glittering displays against Tottenham and Manchester City show he still can compete with the elite in football.

Sterling, in the prime of his career, has valuable tournament experience as well. So, it begs the question as to why he hasn’t been reintroduced into the fold as an attacking option given his flexibility across the frontline. If he keeps up his current form, it will be hard to ignore Sterling for selection.

Anthony Gordon | Club: Newcastle United | Caps: 16 (Under 21s) | Goals: 6 (Under 21s)

Another attacking player who would have liked to of worked his way into the England setup is Anthony Gordon. The 22-year-old has been electrifying for the Magpies since he made the move from Everton, and in the 23/24 season has scored four goals and got two assists in 11 appearances.

Despite his good personal form, Gordon hasn’t managed to muscle his way into the fold for the upcoming internationals, and that might be down to the array of attacking talent at England’s disposal. Gordon now has four Champions League appearances playing against giants such as Borussia Dortmund, PSG, and AC Milan.

Gordon had experience in the England youth setup, so he’s well known at St Georges Park and his ability is unquestionable at this point.

His club find themselves in seventh position and six points off the Champions League places after 12 games, which may have been a factor in his absence from a senior call-up. If the winger keeps averaging a goal contribution every other game, this form will be hard to overlook in the long term.

Eddie Nketiah | Club: Arsenal | Caps: 1 | Goals: 0

Donning the iconic Thierry Henry 14 shirt at Arsenal, Eddie Nketiah is also unlucky not to have been selected for the upcoming squad. The 24-year-old has led the line for the Gunners with injury woes affecting Gabriel Jesus, and he’s taken his chance with aplomb.

Nketiah has featured 12 times in the league, scoring five goals which is a good return for the frontman considering this is the first consistent run in the team. Mikel Arteta likes his players to show fluidity, and Nketiah fits that mould perfectly as he can drift out wide or play centrally.

The Arsenal attacker was in the last international squad and made his senior debut in the 1-0 victory over Australia, whilst being an unused sub against Scotland. It is unfortunate that he missed out on the recent selection, but that might be down to the colossal form of Aston Villa forward Ollie Watkins.

James Ward-Prowse | Club: West Ham United | Caps: 11 | Goals: 2

After making the decision to leave Southampton to stay in the Premier League, James Ward-Prowse has taken to life at West Ham like a duck to water. The dynamic and technically gifted midfielder has scored two goals and got five assists in 12 league games. What’s also impressive is that the 29-year-old has four assists in as many games in the Europa League.

Ward-Prowse has 11 caps for England and hasn’t featured on the international stage since June 2022, given he played in a struggling Saints side one could argue this is understandable. However, he was a standout performer despite his side's relegation and has replicated his consistently good performances for the Hammers.

He’s renowned for being a set-piece specialist and holds the Premier League record for scoring the most free-kicks, netting 17 times in spectacular fashion.

Southgate seems reluctant to select Ward Prowse ahead of his trusted Jordan Henderson and Kalvin Phillips. He can feel unlucky that he’s not being given a chance to play during these internationals despite England already securing a place at next summer’s tournament.

Jarrad Branthwaite | Club: Everton | Caps: 4 (Under 21s) | Goals: 0 (Under 21s)

Everton centre-back Jarrad Branthwaite can feel unfortunate to have missed out on the senior squad having impressed for the Toffees so far this season.

The 21-year-old Carlisle-born defender has made a total of 10 league appearances for Sean Dyche’s side this season while averaging 2.1 tackles, 1.6 interceptions and 4.7 clearances per match.

Branthwaite has been linked with moves to the likes of Manchester United and Newcastle of late and will likely be selected in future squads, however, this was a big opportunity for the likes of Branthwaite due to the absence of Manchester City’s John Stones.

Wildcard: Leif Davis | Team: Ipswich Town | Caps 0

With a shortage of left-backs at Southgate’s disposal, our wildcard option is Ipswich Town’s Leif Davis. Despite being in the Championship, Ipswich are riding high and are joint top of the table with Leicester City, hauling 39 points from 16 games.

Davis has been pivotal for the Tractor Boys from left-back, contributing 10 assists in 15 league appearances this season in which the Suffolk outfit have scored 36 times already.

He fits the natural mould of an athletic, dynamic full-back, and it wouldn’t have been past the realms of possibility to see Southgate take a punt on the 23-year-old during these international matches.