England's Euro 2020 squad: Who will make it? Hits and misses...
Keep an eye on the England hopefuls with highlights of every Premier League match on the Sky Sports website, app and YouTube channel
Last Updated: 10/03/20 6:44pm
Aaron Wan-Bissaka was imperious, Ross Barkley impressed, Dean Henderson kept a clean sheet - but who else caught Gareth Southgate's eye over the weekend? We assess the performances of England hopefuls and who currently has a place pencilled in for the Euro 2020 squad.
Euro 2020 kicks off on June 12, with England grouped with Croatia, Czech Republic and one of the teams which emerge from the play-offs.
At first glance, England's preferred choice at right-back at Euro 2020 looks a simple one.
Trent Alexander-Arnold's instrumental role in Liverpool march towards the Premier League title has rightly seen the Reds defender emerge a candidate to be one of the first names on Southgate's teamsheet - but such a decision may just be premature.
There were numerous eye-catching Manchester United performances in Sunday's 2-0 derby-day victory, but none arguably more significant than from Aaron Wan-Bissaka. The United defender had Raheem Sterling's number from the first whistle, dominating Manchester City's biggest attacking threat with an exemplary defensive display that left Pep Guardiola scratching his head for a solution.
Wan-Bissaka's performance rightly drew praise from former Liverpool and England defender Jamie Carragher, who told Monday Night Football: "I think Aaron Wan-Bissaka is the best one-on-one defender in the world. I don't think anybody will be able to get the better of him in a one versus one."
Southgate faces a number of selection dilemmas but none more difficult than at right-back, and it remains to be seen whether the England manager opts for the defensive option from Manchester or the attacking option from Liverpool. What is certain, though, is that Wan-Bissaka has made the decision all the more difficult.
Dean Henderson, on loan from Manchester United, continues to impress at Sheffield United.
The calls for him to get his chance at international level with England are getting louder and louder with each passing match and he underlined his credentials again on Saturday with a world-class piece of goalkeeping late in the game against Norwich to preserve his side's 1-0 lead.
Called into action with 11 minutes remaining, he produced a superb triple save to deny Ben Godfrey, Mario Vranic and Josip Drmic in quick succession. It was an effort that secured him a 10th clean sheet in his 27 Premier League games this season and he becomes the 11th 'keeper to reach double figures under the age of 23, and the fourth English 'keeper to do so after Joe Hart, Scott Carson and Jack Butland.
The Bramall Lane faithful responded with chants of 'England's number one' and he received a glowing reference from his manager, Chris Wilder, who thinks Henderson, who received his first senior call up for the Three Lions in October following an injury to Tom Heaton, will get a chance to impress when Southgate names his England squad for the friendlies against Italy and Denmark at the end of March.
"He's not had a great deal to do and then he's made some important saves, but that's what the best ones do. Dean, in my opinion, is one of the best," said the Blades boss. "He has had a fantastic season and he has a big 10 games to play and hopefully some more cup games and I would be very, very surprised if he is not named in the upcoming England squad. I'm sure he will be and I'm sure he will get an opportunity in one of the two games as well. He's got everything to play for."
Henderson has so far risen to every challenge put in front of him and it would be no surprise to see him take England duty in his stride and battle Jordan Pickford and Nick Pope to become Southgate's number one for Euro 2020.
The hostile reception Ross Barkley got from the Everton fans only seemed to spur him on to a wonderful performance at Stamford Bridge. Never the most consistent player, he showed his best against his former side on Sunday.
Let's start with the two assists for Pedro and Willian's goals, which epitomised his vision of passing throughout the game. He could have nabbed a goal himself too, with two of his three shots being on target, but his England team-mate Pickford kept him at bay.
Of Chelsea's starting XI, Barkley had the highest pass rate of 98.3 per cent - completing 57 of his 58 passes - and gained possession eight times. If he continues to produce that for the remainder of the season, he has a very strong case for England selection this summer.
Bukayo Saka is not a left-back. Mikel Arteta said exactly that after Arsenal's win over West Ham, and anyone who watched him when he was on the back foot in that match would agree. But what Saka does do is deliver sublime crosses with his left foot. And what an asset that is to Arteta's side.
Opta recorded five such crosses from Saka in the match on Saturday - but those raw numbers do not show how the fizz, bend and direction produced by the 18-year-old had the West Ham players hacking the ball over their own goal or desperately bundling it clear. He was a real threat.
The final third, after all, is a more familiar domain for Saka, who has played in attack through Arsenal's youth ranks and made his name in those more advanced positions in the Europa League earlier this season.
But Arsenal have a gap at left-back - and there is an argument that England might do too. Ben Chilwell is the man in possession but is below his best level. Luke Shaw, despite recent improvements, has been out of the frame, while Danny Rose's Newcastle move is yet to spark him into his form of old. As a result there could be an opening for the likes of Saka, particularly if Southgate reverts to a back three and is looking for an attack-minded flyer on the flanks.
For the second week in a row Jarrod Bowen has earned his place in the positive part of this column - and for the second week in a row he has lived up to the excitement West Ham fans had about his arrival.
There was a clamour for David Moyes - cautious about dropping the 23-year-old into a relegation battle - to unleash the January buy and after almost making an instant impact as a sub at Anfield two weeks ago, Bowen starred in West Ham's big win over Southampton before impressing again at Arsenal on Saturday.
He has made light work of stepping up from the Championship - where he had scored 16 goals for Hull earlier this season - and at the Emirates Stadium he showed attacking thrust with the ball at his feet. Always willing to run at his man, that approach was nearly rewarded in the second half when he burst through midfield and fired at Bernd Leno from the edge of the area. That was his second shot on target of the match - no player had more in the game - but Bowen also threw himself into the defensive side of the game too, making four interceptions and winning back possession a team-high 12 times.
That combination of attacking drive and committed defensive mentality is the ideal mix for Moyes and West Ham in their current predicament. Would it work at international level? If he can maintain this level Southgate may be tempted to find out.
The England centre-back contingent is certainly not sewn up this summer, and James Tarkowski is doing a good job of putting himself in the mix with his recent performances at the heart of the Burnley defence.
He could not secure a fifth clean sheet from six for the Clarets but was, again, a rock at the back for Sean Dyche's side as a resurgent Tottenham pressed after half-time in their 1-1 draw at Turf Moor.
His crowning moment was a perfectly-timed slide tackle on Erik Lamela inside his own box, to probably deny the Argentinian the winning goal, while he should have provided an assist at the other end only for Chris Wood to fluff his lines from his header back across goal.
The spotlight was on the latest instalment of Jack Grealish's ongoing battle with his good friend James Maddison, but it was Harvey Barnes who stole the show with his man-of-the-match display.
Barnes has six goals and six assists to his name and during Leicester's winter blip, it was he who stood out as their most in-form player.
The 22-year-old told Sky Sports: "We were gutted with how the cup game went against Villa, and they're fighting for their lives so we knew it would be tough. It's good to get a bit of payback for how the cup game went."
Barnes has scored four goals in his last four home Premier League games, after failing to find the back of the net in any of the 22 before that. Now established in Leicester's first team, he is another bright young talent who will be on Southgate's radar.
Luke Shaw's physique and susceptibility to injury have, rather harshly, made him an easy target for those looking to pin Manchester United's failings on someone. His cause was by no means aided by what could be described as a personal vendetta from his former manager Jose Mourinho, but since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took the helm at Old Trafford, you will struggle to find a player that has improved more than Shaw.
The much-maligned full-back is delivering a level of consistency we have seldom seen in his career and was instrumental again, this time at the left of a back three, as United secured a first league double over Manchester City in a decade on the back of an eighth clean sheet in 10 unbeaten games. "He was voted player of the year last year by the players," Solskjaer said after Sunday's 2-0 derby win, "but he is improving, and he is a top boy who we want to give absolutely every opportunity to become the best he can be.
"For me, he is potentially the best left-back in England and maybe even more. I've got faith in him [to the left of a three] and he still provides crosses and overlapping runs. He has been excellent."
Solskjaer's support is unequivocal, if Shaw continues in this fashion, Southgate may just be a supporter of him too.
Tottenham striker Harry Kane is ahead of schedule in his recovery from a hamstring injury and could return for as many as five matches at the end of the season, according to manager Jose Mourinho.
Marcus Rashford is out following a double stress fracture in his back in mid-January, but says he will be back before the domestic season finishes.
Also currently out: Callum Hudson-Odoi (hamstring), Tammy Abraham (ankle), Jordan Henderson (thigh).
Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin was off the boil on Sunday. He signed a new five-year deal at the club during the week, but could not follow it up with one of the match-winning performances he has produced in recent months.
Indeed, Calvert-Lewin had scored in the last three Premier League games and had Everton's best chance of the game in the first half, but his shot flew well wide of the far post. That was his sole shot of the game with Everton only having three overall.
He was substituted in the 76th minute and cut a subdued figure as he was given a pat on the back from Carlo Ancelotti. It will not be a performance that he will want to remember - or Everton overall for that matter - and will not have done much for his Euro 2020 hopes.
It is difficult to judge Japhet Tanganga too harshly playing right wing-back for Tottenham on Saturday - but it was the defensive side of his game which still proved problematic for the youngster.
Up against a wily fox in Dwight McNeil, he struggled to stop the dangerman getting a number of quality deliveries into the box, and it was from one that Burnley's opening goal came 13 minutes in.
Dropped into a more conventional right-back role after the break and with Spurs now on the front foot he improved, but the watching Southgate would not have taken too much from his performance.
Join Sky Bet Club and track your progress towards a £5 free Bet
Opt in and bet £25 or more before 23:59 on Sunday. Free bets credited by 7pm on Monday.
The stage was set for Phil Foden. A first start in the Manchester derby, just reward for his man-of-the-match performance in the Carabao Cup final and a further indication of the faith Pep Guardiola has in the 19-year-old, regardless of the significance of the occasion.
But anyone thinking Foden's Wembley heroics were a watershed moment, and that he would stamp his authority on the Manchester derby, were quickly disproven. With City's talisman Kevin De Bruyne out injured, the burden of creativity against a resolute United defence weighed heavy on Foden's shoulders, too heavy in fact as the first half at Old Trafford passed him by.
City improved collectively as an attacking force after Guardiola called for more aggression in the final third during the interval, and Foden looked to meet his managers demands with two shots on goal, the first of which really stung the palms of David de Gea. Foden would go on to play the entire 90 minutes but created little else as City's derby bid was washed out in the Manchester rain.
Foden possesses undoubted talent, talent we will see again before this season concludes, but with game time at a premium hampering his ability to really become consistent, questions remain unanswered over his suitability at the highest levels, such as this summer's European Championships.
There was no shame in Grealish being unable to turn the Carabao Cup final his side's way but hopes had been higher for the trip to Leicester against another team who were struggling for form. Instead, the Aston Villa captain was ineffective as his side slumped to a 4-0 defeat at the King Power Stadium that further increases their relegation fears.
Grealish was restored to the role on the left where he has had some joy this season but this was a struggle for him throughout. He had just 42 touches all game - the fewest he's had in any Premier League game this season. It was also only the second time he has failed to have a shot or create a chance for a team-mate too.
In front of the Monday Night Football cameras, with the nation watching on, it was not a good time to turn in such an underwhelming performance. It was not just that James Maddison - the player with whom he is often compared - was in the opposition line-up. So was Harvey Barnes, playing in a similar position… and playing Grealish off the park.
There is no denying Mings is a popular figure with the Aston Villa support and he has been the pick of their back line this season. Southgate will like the fact that he is a natural left-footer too. But the truth of the matter is that Mings' return to the Premier League has been no more than a qualified success and he struggled here.
After Pepe Reina's awful error of judgement for Leicester's opener, Mings got his feet in a muddle when attempting to clear, and he was also responsible for the marginal handball that led to Jamie Vardy's penalty that doubled the opposition's lead.
He is not being helped by his team-mates and the frustration was etched all over his face as his colleagues erred to allow goals three and four to go in. Mings is more of a solution than a problem at Villa. Being part of performances like this one is not helping him to impress.
England's fixture list
Friendly: England vs Italy - Fri 27 March
Friendly: England vs Denmark - Tue 31 March
Friendly: Austria vs England - Tue 2 June
Friendly: England vs Romania - Sun 7 June
Euro 2020: England vs Croatia - Sun 14 June
Euro 2020: England vs Play-off winner C - Fri 19 June
Euro 2020: Czech Republic vs England - Tue 23 June
Predicted 23-man England squad right now...
Sky Sports' Peter Smith names the squad he believes Southgate would select if the Euros were starting next week and everyone was fit...
Jordan Pickford, Dean Henderson, Nick Pope
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kieran Trippier, Harry Maguire, Joe Gomez, Tyrone Mings, John Stones, Ben Chilwell, Danny Rose
Declan Rice, Harry Winks, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mason Mount, James Maddison, Dele Alli
Raheem Sterling, Jadon Sancho, Harry Kane, Tammy Abraham, Marcus Rashford
Join the debate
Comment below to the join debate, but please respect our House Rules. If you wish to report any comment, simply click on the down arrow next to the offending comment and click 'Report'
Euro 2020 England squad odds
Find out all the latest Sky Bet odds on who will make Southgate's 23-man squad here