International football

Southgate rings the changes with four potential debutants

The England boss has selected an attack-heavy squad for the upcoming UEFA Nations League fixtures against Iceland and Denmark with one notable omission.

Southgate rings the changes with four potential debutants

Dean Henderson, Phil Foden, Kalvin Phillips and Mason Greenwood will all hope to make their full England debuts next month having been selected in Gareth Southgate’s 24-man squad. England begin their Nations League campaign with fixtures against Iceland and Denmark before the Premier League returns on 12 September.

Henderson may feel that he deserves to be given a chance in goal after the poor form of Jordan Pickford but Burnley’s Nick Pope, who started England’s last game against Kosovo, will hope to keep his place.

Foden and Phillips join Mason Mount, Declan Rice, James Ward-Prowse and Harry Winks in a largely inexperienced group of midfielders. Phillips is yet to feature in a top-flight match but impressed in a holding role for Championship-winning Leeds United last season.

No place for Grealish in Southgate's squad

However there was no place for Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish despite his heroics to save his boyhood club from relegation last season. In the 2019/20 Premier League campaign only Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne (136) created more chances than Grealish (91), but the 24-year-old is still yet to get a call-up for the national team.

In attack, the goal-scoring exploits of Greenwood and Danny Ings made them difficult not to include and they will add to a very exciting forward line. Harry Kane is expected to start as the focal point despite currently being in quarantine after a close season trip to the Bahamas. He is currently unable to train but the 27-year-old’s two weeks of self-isolation will not see him miss any competitive matches for either Tottenham Hotspur or England.

A greater concern for Southgate will be the status of Harry Maguire who has also been included in the squad despite his recent arrest. The Manchester United captain was arrested while on holiday on the Greek island of Mykonos but pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated assault and attempted bribery and has since return to the UK.

Speaking after the announcement of the England squad Southgate revealed that he had spoken to Maguire since the incident and was comfortable with including him: "I have spoken with Harry, I have the insight to the story which is very different to what is being recorded. You can only make decisions on facts you are aware of.”

England squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Eric Dier, Joe Gomez, Michael Keane, Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker

Midfielders: Phil Foden, Mason Mount, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice, James Ward-Prowse, Harry Winks

Forwards: Tammy Abraham, Mason Greenwood, Danny Ings, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling