England’s Youngsters Have Staked Their Claim to Start at Euro 2024

England will go into the European Championship in Germany, which begins this month, as one of the favorites. The Three Lions came very close in the last Euros in 2021, when Italy beat them in a penalty shoot-out in the final.

Gareth Southgate’s team also reached the semifinal in 2018 World Cup, but seems to have a habit of getting knocked out in crucial matches. With a very good team at their disposal this time, they will look to turn things around.

England’s Youngsters Should Be Given a Chance In The Tournament

There are at least three youngsters in the English set-up who deserve some game time in the upcoming Euros. There is the 18-year-old holding midfielder Kobbie Mainoo, who has had an excellent debut season with Manchester United.
Then there are the pair of wingers, Cole Palmer and Anthony Gordon, both of whom have had their breakthrough season in 2023/24. Palmer, the 22-year-old from Chelsea, racked up a very impressive 27 goals and 15 assists in 48 matches, putting him right up there with the very best in Premier League. Gordon, Newcastle United’s 23-year-old left winger, had 12 goals and 11 assists from 42 matches and is probably the best player in his position in England at the moment.

Accommodating the Players  Will Be a Problem For England

The problemfor Southgate – if it can even be called that – is that there are a lot of players in his team who are guaranteed selections. Players like Harry Kane, Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden, and Declan Rice have to be picked in the starting XI, given their excellent form this season. Should England decide to go with a 4-3-3 with Rice as the holding midfielder and Bellingham and Foden as the two No. 8s, it will mean that there is no place for Mainoo in the side.
Moreover, if they go with a double pivot of Rice and Mainoo in a 4-2-3-1, it will mean that Foden will have to start on one of the flanks. Should Bukayo Saka start as the right winger in the above formation, Foden will have to play on the left, a position where his is not at his best.
On the other hand, based on current form, Palmer probably deserves a place in the starting XI ahead of Saka. In the absence of Marcus Rashford, Jack Grealish is another candidate for the left wing. However, Grealish has not had the best of seasons himself. Despite winning his third Premier League title with Manchester City, Grealish has played in only 36 matches for them this season, most of them as a substitute. Thus, Gordon is probably more eligible to start for the Three Lions, all things considered.
Southgate will therefore have to make a number of critical decisions while picking his team. It remains to be seen whether he emphasizes on youth while selecting his starting XI.
England opens their Euro campaign against Serbia on June 16. Their starting XI that day might have a surprise or two. However, as long as there is healthy competition in the squad, the manager will not be complaining.

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