Southgate to trust England's leaders on fitness as Bellingham set for chance

Gareth Southgate is set to name Jordan Henderson and Harry Maguire in his England squad despite their ongoing injury worries.

Southgate views both players as hugely important to his Euros campaign as leaders and players and will give them every chance to be fit.

Manchester United captain Maguire has been struggling with an ankle injury after damaging ligaments but should be ready in time for the Euros next month.

Liverpool midfielder Henderson was back on the bench for his club’s final game on Sunday after missing a huge chunk of the second half of the season but again is seen as being worth including to assess his fitness and for what he offers the squad.

Jude Bellingham is set to be named in England's squad for the European Championships
Jude Bellingham is set to be named in England’s squad for the European Championships

Borussia Dortmund teenager Jude Bellingham, 17, is also likely to get a chance as Southgate does at least have some leeway with a bigger squad.

England boss Southgate has to name a 26-strong squad, with 23 players on a match day but an extra three players will be with the set-up throughout the tournament.

However, Southgate intends to name some standby and training players because there will be up to 11 players involved in the Europa League and Champions League finals with Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City respectively.

That will mean Southgate has very few options for the friendlies with Austria and Romania on June 2 and 6 because the players who have been in the European finals may not be available.

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Jordan Henderson was on the bench for Liverpool at the weekend
Jordan Henderson was on the bench for Liverpool at the weekend

It could mean that Southgate looks at the likes of Everton ’s England under-21 defender Ben Godfrey or Aston Villa’s Ezri Konsa who has been in good form.

Southgate was at Villa Park on Sunday and Jack Grealish looks certain to be in, but the England boss was still having to make checks on Monday and asking players to remain available just in case.

Burnley keeper Nick Pope is definitely out so that looks set to mean a call up for West Brom’s Sam Johnstone.

There have also been checks on Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips after he suffered a shoulder injury, but he hopes to be fit.

But that should not necessarily block Bellingham’s progress as his form in the Bundesliga and the Champions League this season has really caught Southgate’s eye.

Even if it is as a member of the squad than a guaranteed starter, Bellingham may gain from the experience because he looks ready to be a full international for years to come.

Southgate will clearly have concerns that he could yet lose players who play in Gdasnk and Porto and therefore that is why the door may not be closed.

Arsenal ’s Bukayo Saka looks borderline but he is also very versatile and can operate in attack or as one of the full backs so could be an option.

United teenager Mason Greenwood is also in Southgate’s mind but because he will be with his club in the Europa League that may count against him in terms of being on standby or back-up but again his long-term future looks bright.

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Possible squad

Goalkeepers (3): Pickford, Henderson, Johnstone

Defenders (9): Walker, Trippier, Chilwell, Shaw, Stones, Maguire, Coady, Dier, Mings

Midfielders (7): Rice, Henderson, Bellingham, Ward-Prowse, Phillips, Mount, Lingard

Forwards (7): Kane, Calvert-Lewin, Foden, Rashford, Grealish, Sancho, Sterling



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