There is less than a year to go until the belated European Championship kicks off and Gareth Southgate will already be thinking of how he can end England’s 55-year-wait for tournament success.
His Three Lions side are back in action this week and he will hope to cast an eye on 30 of his stars available to further assess who he can rely on next summer.
But come Euro 2020 he will only be allowed to select 23 players, so ahead of a friendly with Wales and Nations League matches against Belgium and Denmark, Sportsmail looks at the players in and around his current squad and their chances of being part of the England international bubble.
IN THE BUBBLE
This time last year he was all but a certain first-choice keeper. Recent errors for Everton have put his place under threat but he looks assured to make the squad.
A tricky start to the season for Manchester United and that incident in Greece have dented Maguire’s reputation but he remains an important part of Southgate’s plans.
Despite a rocky summer and start to the season with Manchester United, Harry Maguire is likely to remain a key player in Gareth Southgate’s defence
Arguably the best right-back in the world. Certainly the best in England. The Liverpool star is one of Southgate’s easier picks.
Finally earned a £50million move to Chelsea and while time will tell if it was worth it, a dearth of left-backs means he is all but certain to feature – despite Covid breach.
England’s midfield badly lacks experience and the Liverpool captain has it in abundance alongside his Premier League and Champions League medals. His presence will be needed.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson brings much needed experience to England’s midfield
Has yet to have a standout game for his country after nine caps but there are few better defensive midfielders in England on his Premier League form for West Ham.
Now an established key part of England’s attack out wide. Has built a good understanding with Kane and is emerging as a leader.
Raheem Sterling has proven himself to be relied upon in Gareth Southgate’s team
Another key part of England’s attack but competition for places are high and he cannot risk a bad season at a Manchester United side who appear to be wobbling.
First name on the team sheet. Captain, world class goal scorer. Only an injury is going to keep him out but his proneness to them is one of his few weaknesses.
Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane is arguably the first name on Southgate’s team sheet
ON THE BRINK
Far from certain to even make the squad as a right-back these days but can be trusted at centre-back by Southgate and his versatility keeps him in with a shout.
Remains in contention as a right-back and Southgate has been experimenting with him to cover on the left side too. Another trusted disciple from Russia 2018.
Looked a shoo-in before the start of the season but Liverpool performances since have raised question marks. Could be just a blip, and a return to form puts him back ‘in the bubble.’
Liverpool defender Joe Gomez needs to find form to make himself essential to England again
Has enjoyed a resurgence under Jose Mourinho at Tottenham Hotspur and is one of England’s most experienced players with 42 caps. Will have to maintain form to keep place though.
Has also looked shaky for England but has been a key defender in Everton’s stunning 100 per cent start to the season. A big opportunity to force his way into the starting XI.
Not in the squad and his England chances looked toast while he remained on the Chelsea bench. Move to Aston Villa and first-team football could earn his way back in.
Harry Winks could be left battling for his place as midfield talents emerge in the set-up
Winks is the safe pair of hands in the England midfield but will that be enough? No longer a guaranteed starter for Spurs could see him vulnerable to emerging talents.
Southgate favoured Mount throughout the Chelsea midfielder’s breakout season at the Blues, but despite continuing to impress for the Blues he has yet to cement his spot at international level.
Injury sees him miss out on the squad this time around but it’s not too late for the Leicester star to force his way back into the set-up despite having just one cap.
In the naughty boys club following his off the pitch-antics in Iceland. Has to win back Southgate’s trust but Manchester City star has talent on his side.
Manchester City’s talented midfielder Phil Foden needs to win back Southgate’s trust
Appears to have won back his Chelsea place but that alone won’t be enough to earn him a place in the final 23, especially with striking rivals around him regularly finding the net and his latest Covid breach.
See Foden. Yet he could prove a victim in Edinson Cavani’s Manchester United arrival. Must feature and find scoring boots to be in with a shout of the squad.
Right now, the Chelsea winger is out in the cold especially given Southgate’s embarrassment of riches in attacking wide players. Has to earn back a place in the squad and quickly.
Southgate is likely to take only four forwards next summer, and Sancho will have to maintain good form to retain his spot. Given Kane, Sterling and Rashford all look certainties and he may have lost Southgate’s trust following Covid breach.
Jadon Sancho can ill afford a poor season with competition for attacking places high
CHANCE TO IMPRESS
England may already have their keepers for next summer decided, who starts among them is anyone’s guess. The Burnley stopper with two caps is set to get his chance.
Still yet to be capped but is putting David de Gea under serious pressure at Manchester United. Is being groomed to be England’s future No 1.
Manchester United keeper Dean Henderson is line to win his first senior cap of many
Able to play on either flank and that versatility, especially on the left, could make the Arsenal star invaluable as he looks to add to his one cap.
Southgate is still unsure over his back-up for Alexander-Arnold and the 20-year-old will be hard to ignore if he enjoys another excellent season at Chelsea.
Has looked steady for England in his two caps, but at 27 the Aston Villa defender has fewer chances to impress Southgate than his younger international team-mates.
The 19-year-old Arsenal wide man has yet to be capped but is coming into form at the right time. Could become England’s breakout star this season.
Arsenal wideman Bukayo Saka could become England’s breakout star this season
In the same boat as Mings but also has the advantage of being comfortable in a back-three system, which will always keep him in Southgate’s radar.
A bit more than just a set-piece specialist these days, but the Southampton wide-man is going to have to take his game up another level still to trouble the squad.
A surprise inclusion during the last international break but his first cap and subsequent performances in the Leeds midfield have kept him in the squad.
Goes from strength-to-strength at Villa and in an England midfield lacking star power he is arguably in pole position to claim a starting role.
Aston Villa’s in-form Jack Grealish is hoping to nail down a starting spot during the break
Has enjoyed another good start to the season for Southampton but the 28-year-old is going to have to at least come close to matching his 25-goal tally last term to make the final cut next summer.
Euro 2020 may just come too quickly for the 22-year-old who has impressed out wide at Leicester. Must hit the ground running ahead of potential debut to remain in Southgate’s plans next summer.
The joker in the pack. No chance of an England place before the start of the season. Nine goals in six games for Everton since means an international debut is now inevitable and a place in the final 23 now in sight.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s stunning Everton form has seen him gatecrash the England squad