England are fast approaching Euro 2020.
The Three Lions are coming into the tournament on the back of their best World Cup performance in 28 years and with arguably the best bunch of young players in the entire international game.
However, Gareth Southgate might be secretly wishing that there wasn’t so much quality within the pool of England players because selecting his Euro 2020 squad is going to be incredibly tough.
Euro 2020 on the horizon
Even with UEFA swelling the permitted squad size from 23 players to 26, both pundits and fans alike have struggled to come to an agreement on the right players to unleash this summer.
Only time will tell exactly how Southgate moulds his squad for the tournament, but the speculation couldn’t be any higher right now with the opening game against Croatia just a few weeks away.
And with reports suggesting that Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold might not be getting a place in the squad, it’s never been more topical or divisive for us to put the England squad under the spotlight.
England’s 26-man squad
As such, we couldn’t help rubbing our hands together when Rio Ferdinand, Glenn Hoddle and Joe Cole came together for BT Sport to name their picks for Southgate’s 26-man squad.
And today, we’re honing on the selections of Manchester United legend Ferdinand who – just like anyone chancing their arm by naming a squad – will likely ruffle a few feathers with their decision.
The headline probably surrounds the fact that Alexander-Arnold has indeed been included by Ferdinand whereas Manchester City Kyle Walker is a surprise omission as a result.
Ferdinand makes his selections
Youngsters Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham are given the thumbs up despite their lack of England experience, while the uncapped Ben Godfrey is arguably the biggest surprise of all.
Throw in James Maddison, Mason Greenwood and Jadon Sancho for good measure and it’s fair to say that Ferdinand has swung for the fences, so be sure to check out his full squad down below:
Fair play, Rio, you can’t be faulted for investing in youth and attacking football.
Ferdinand backing young players
According to the Mirror, Ferdinand justified his squad by saying: “Walker I think would be the unlucky one in my squad, and he’d have really good grounds to ring me up and give me a piece of his mind.
“I like youth, I want to give youth a chance. I’m looking ahead as well, not just this tournament. This has been a bit of a weird lead up – I’m looking at this as almost a free hit for someone like Gareth.
“You can introduce some young players, give them experience, really expose them to what a tournament is like.”
Is backing young players the way forward at such a unique Euros? Ferdinand seems to think so, but regardless of exactly who Southgate selects, the dream remains the same: It’s coming home!