Trent Alexander-Arnold has been given a chance to revive his international career after being named in England’s 33-man provisional squad for Euro 2020, while Everton’s Ben Godfrey and Brighton’s Ben White have been called up by Gareth Southgate for the first time.
Alexander-Arnold, controversially dropped from England’s squad for their World Cup qualifiers in March, was included on Tuesday. However the Liverpool right-back still faces a fight to convince Southgate, who has delayed naming his final 26-man squad until 1 June, to take him to this summer’s tournament.
England’s manager has veered towards picking Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier and Reece James over Alexander-Arnold, who finished the season strongly with Liverpool. Southgate will risk a public backlash if he omits the 22-year-old, who will have a chance to impress in training now.
The larger squad gives Alexander-Arnold an opportunity to earn a spot at the finals. England’s plans have been plans complicated by the involvement of English clubs in the Champions League and Europa League finals this week, and Southgate wants time to assess players who have been struggling with injuries.
England have concerns over a few key players before their opening game against Croatia at Wembley on 13 June. Harry Maguire is set to miss Manchester United’s Europa League final against Villarreal on Wednesday because of damaged ankle ligaments, Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson has just returned from a long-term groin injury, and Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips is a doubt after suffering a shoulder injury against West Brom on Sunday.
With Burnley’s Nick Pope out because of knee injury, Southgate has included four goalkeepers. West Brom’s Sam Johnstone and Sheffield United’s Aaron Ramsdale have been given a chance to battle for the third spot, with Dean Henderson and Jordan Pickford also included.
Southgate’s concerns over Maguire has seen him look at other options at centre-back. He has handed call-ups to Godfrey and White, leaving Eric Dier, Fikayo Tomori, Ezri Konsa and James Tarkowski disappointed.
There are also places further forward for Jesse Lingard, Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka, Mason Greenwood and Ollie Watkins. Tammy Abraham and Danny Ings have been left out.
England are unlikely to field their strongest side in warm-up matches against Austria on 2 June and Romania on 6 June in Middlesbrough because of Southgate’s desire to give players a week’s break after their club seasons.
After United’s game against Villarreal, the Champions League final between Chelsea and Manchester City takes place in Porto on Saturday. The tight schedule means that United’s Henderson, Luke Shaw, Greenwood and Marcus Rashford will miss the Austria game, and players from City and Chelsea are doubtful for the visit from Romania. Southgate has Kyle Walker, John Stones, Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling at City and James, Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount at Chelsea.