Southgate retains Alexander-Arnold over Lingard in England’s final Euro 2020 squad

Despite the impressive half-season on load at the Premier League club West Ham, Jesse Lingard was among the players who did not make it to the final cut of Gareth Southgate’s 23-men England squad for UEFA Euro 2020. Meanwhile, Trent Alexander-Arnold, who was reported to be out of the squad, was included in the final 26 alongside attacking stars Jack Grealish, Jadon Sancho, Mason Mount and Phil Foden.

The Manchester United forward, who joined West Ham on loan for the second half of the season in January having made only three appearances to that point in the 2020-21 campaign, was named as part of the initial 33-man provisional squad last week. However, in the final announcement of the squad for the main event, the England boss included Lingard in the list of those who did not make it to the cut. 

However, Lingard, Ward-Prowse and Watkins will remain training with England this week and be involved in the friendlies against Austria and Romania. “Those three, I gave them the option of going home if they wanted to but they were all adamant they would want to stay and be a part of the group,” Southgate said. “Their commitment has been exemplary and their professionalism has been brilliant.” 

Southgate also revealed that speaking to Lingard about the exclusion to the final squad was “very difficult”. Lingard scored nine goals and provided four assists in 16 league appearances and helped the east London club qualify for the Europa League. Notably, Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood withdrew from the squad due to an “underlying injury”. 

The other players left out were Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, Everton’s Ben Godfrey, Ben White of Brighton, Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse and Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins. Meanwhile, the likes of Harry Maguire, Jordan Henderson and Jack Grealish, all recovering from injuries in recent weeks, made it to the cut, with Southgate saying that it is not a risk to take injured players in the squad. 

“Normally we’d only have 23 and we’ve got three additional players,” Southgate said. “We’re realistic about what might be possible for those guys, we’re not picking them with anything in mind other than it will be a bonus if we get them for the games we think we might. Therefore, we’re covered in those positions and balanced the squad out in case we don’t have them.” 

England Full Squad: 

Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson (Manchester United), Sam Johnstone (West Brom), Jordan Pickford (Everton)

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Conor Coady (Wolves), Reece James (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid), Kyle Walker (Manchester City)

Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds), Declan Rice (West Ham)

Forwards: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Phil Foden (Man City), Jack Grealish (Aston Villa), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Raheem Sterling (Man City).

The Three Lions meet Austria on Wednesday, followed by a home date with Romania on Sunday for pre-tournament friendlies. Their European Championship campaign then opens against Croatia on June 13, before taking on Scotland and the Czech Republic in their remaining Group D fixtures. All three matches are at Wembley Stadium.

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