Six England players who could benefit from Euro 2024 squad cap increase | Football

Several stars have been given renewed Euro 2024 hope (Picture: Getty)

England manager Gareth Southgate looks set to be able to pick 26 players in his squad for Euro 2024 after UEFA agreed to increase the size of squads.

The governing body reportedly voted in favour of increasing the squad cap from the traditional 23 players to 26 last month.

UEFA had originally set the squad cap for Euro 2024 at 23, but national team managers were keen to see the enlarged squad size which featured at Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup kept for this summer’s tournament, citing concerns over player welfare.

Should the proposal be signed off by the UEFA Executive Committee, as expected, then Southgate’s headache over whittling down his envious array of talent into a final squad will ease ever so slightly.

Here are six England stars who could be given a lifeline by the rule change for Euro 2024, which gets underway in Germany on June 14.

Jadon Sancho

The door had seemingly closed on Sancho’s Euro 2024 dream, despite returning to form at loan club Borussia Dortmund, after he was left out of the squad for March’s international break.

Jadon Sancho playing for Borussia Dortmund

Sancho was back to his brilliant best against PSG (Picture: Getty)

However, his sensational performance against PSG in the Champions League semi-final, which saw him become the first Englishman to complete 11 or more take-ons in a single game in the competition, was a timely reminder of the brilliance of the player.

A return to the England fold for the first time since 2021 would represent a spectacular turn around in fortune for Sancho following the ugly first half of the season at Manchester United.

Anthony Gordon

Gordon has been in superb form for Newcastle this season, bagging 10 goals and 11 assists for the Magpies in all competitions.

The former Everton star, who initially took time to settle in the North East when he swapped Merseyside for Tyneside at the start of last year, made his England debut in the defeat to Brazil in March.

Southgate is blessed with options in the wide positions, but may now be tempted to include Gordon in the final cut, whose pace and directness could be unleashed on tired defenders in the closing stages of games.

Luke Shaw

Shaw has endured a nightmare season with injury, having featured only 15 times in all competitions for Manchester United this campaign.

Luke Shaw playing for Manchester United

Shaw will be desperate to make England’s Euro 2024 squad (Picture: Getty)

Shaw has not played since picking up a muscle injury against Luton in February but is expected to return later this month.

Given England are not blessed with a huge array of left backs, a return to some sort of fitness could see Shaw, who has not played for the national team since last June, seal his return to the Three Lions squad.

Marcus Rashford

Rashford could scarcely have suffered a worse season at Manchester United, with his form completely nosediving compared to the lofty standards he set in 2022/23.

Southgate has warned Rashford that his England spot is not guaranteed, with the likes of Gordon and Bowen enjoying vastly superior seasons at club level.

An increase to the squad cap would make it easier for Southgate to justify including Rashford, who has appeared at four major tournaments and has generally played well for England.

Eric Dier

Dier has enjoyed something of a career renaissance at Bayern Munich, having struggled for minutes across the first part of the season under Ange Postecoglou at Tottenham.

Eric Dier playing for Bayern Munich

Dier has impressed following his move to Germany (Picture: Getty)

Since the loan move, which has now turned permanent, Dier has been a defensive rock at the heart of the Bayern defence in a reminder to everyone of his enduring talent.

The 30 year-old has not played for England since the World Cup 2022 Round of 16 victory over Senegal, but a return could now be on the cards for the experienced centre back.

Jarrad Branthwaite

Branthwaite has enjoyed a breakout season at Everton having returned from his loan at PSV last year.

His commanding defensive performances and strong ball-playing skills has seen the 21 year-old linked with the likes of Manchester United and Tottenham.

Branthwaite was named in the squad for the March games but was not afforded any minutes by Southgate, although his England debut may be on the horizon if Southgate elects to take him to Germany as part of the cover for John Stones and Harry Maguire.


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