5 Outsiders That Could Make it into England’s World Cup Squad

Jordan Edmonds

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Ivan Toney Odds: 6/5

Whilst England captain Harry Kane is a certainty to be on the plane for Qatar and lead his country out as the Three Lions’ main centre-forward, Ivan Toney could be in line to be an excellent backup.

Gareth Southgate has some good options to choose from up top, with the likes of Callum Wilson and Tammy Abraham to name a few, but the performances of Toney for Brentford in the Premier League may be enough to finally earn the former Northampton Town striker his first England cap.

Toney has been impressive across his time in England’s top tier, but this season has seen him step it up even further. So far in the 2022/23 campaign, Toney has five goals in six Premier League games – bettered only by Erling Haaland and Aleksandar Mitrovic – as well as two assists. It isn’t just his stats that have stood out, his all-round play has been a joy to watch with his third goal to seal the hat-trick against Leeds last weekend being an example. In that goal, Toney collected the ball and skipped past a defender, putting the ball through his legs, before getting around the Leeds ‘keeper Illan Meslier and elegantly dinking the ball over defenders into the net, from outside the box.

As the Bees’ striker continues to shine, he could be in with a shout of a call-up if his fantastic form continues.

To Make England World Cup 2022 26 Man Squad

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IVAN TONEY @ 6/5

Anthony Gordon Odds: 4/1

Anthony Gordon has received plenty of attention over the summer, being the subject of transfer rumours linking him to a blockbuster move to Chelsea. The Everton youngster has stayed at Goodison Park though and has been an important player for the Toffees so far this season.

Gordon has played in every game for Frank Lampard’s side so far, scoring twice, with no Toffees player scoring more. The 21-year-old has two goals in his last three games and has been a focal point for Everton going forward, putting in some impressive performances despite his side struggling at times.

Able to provide cover on the wing or up front centrally, Gordon may be of use to Southgate’s England squad to provide some energy from the bench or to come in when the team needs rotating.

To Make England World Cup 2022 26 Man Squad

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ANTHONY GORDON @ 4/1

Joe Gomez Odds: 3/1

Injury problems in the past few years have halted Joe Gomez’s progress, but if the Liverpool defender can keep himself fit, he will surely be in with a shout of being named in the England squad.

The 25-year-old has made five league appearances so far for the Reds, continuing the partnership with Virgil Van Dijk at the heart of the Liverpool defence. The former Charlton defender has played the full 90 minutes in four consecutive league games for Jurgen Klopp’s side, helping to keep two clean sheets.

There could be a centre-back spot up for grabs if Southgate plans on sticking to his three-at-the-back system, especially if the likes of Harry Maguire and Tyrone Mings struggle to impress. If Gomez can fight off the challenges of Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate and keep his place alongside Van Dijk in the Liverpool team, he will be in the discussion to become a member of Southgate’s England side.

To Make England World Cup 2022 26 Man Squad

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JOE GOMEZ @ 3/1

Chris Smalling Odds: 6/1

After being called up to the squad for the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016, Chris Smalling was dropped from the international scene in November 2017. Following a good showing in Italy though, the former Manchester United centre-back is an outsider that could be a surprise inclusion in Gareth Southgate’s squad.

The 32-year-old has been at Roma since 2019 and has been a big presence for the Serie A outfit. Smalling has been crucial so far for Jose Mourinho’s side, being named as the Man Of The Match in the inaugural UEFA Conference League final last season as the Giallorossi claimed historic European silverware.

Smalling has carried his form over into the new season, helping Roma keep three clean sheets in their opening four matches this campaign as well as chipping in with the one goal. If he continues to have a big influence for Mourinho’s men, he could be worth a call-up – especially if the likes of Maguire and Mings struggle to find form at their respective clubs.

To Make England World Cup 2022 26 Man Squad

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CHRIS SMALLING @ 6/1

Dean Henderson Odds: 11/8

England have some strong options to choose from as their number 1, but after performing at Nottingham Forest, Dean Henderson could be knocking on the door to be part of the squad in Qatar.

Jordan Pickford is Southgate’s go-to choice, and although he can be shaky at times for his club, always seems to perform for the Three Lions. Aaron Ramsdale and Nick Pope have also put in good performances at club level for Arsenal and Newcastle respectively. But after securing his loan move to the City Ground, Henderson could make a claim to be Southgate’s new man between the sticks.

The 25-year-old has already put in some stellar performances for Forest this season, including two penalty saves in their opening six games. Henderson saved Declan Rice’s spot-kick in the 1-0 win against West Ham, before becoming the first ‘keeper in four years to deny Harry Kane from 12 yards.

It will be hard for Henderson to keep clean sheets in a Forest side expected to fight against the drop, but if he continues to put in good showings, Henderson could be in line to challenge Pickford, Ramsdale, and Pope.

To Make England World Cup 2022 26 Man Squad

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DEAN HENDERSON @ 11/8

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