Bellingham and Alexander-Arnold in, Dier and Ings out – the data behind England's provisional Euro 2020 squad

By Sports Desk May 25, 2021

England manager Gareth Southgate has named his provisional 33-man squad for the rearranged Euro 2020, which starts next month. 

The Three Lions boss has until midnight on June 1 to cut his squad down to 26, but he will have time to assess players in training ahead of friendlies against Austria and Romania on June 2 and June 6 respectively.

England then start their Euros campaign at Wembley on June 13, taking on Croatia. Scotland are next up in Group D, before they face the Czech Republic on June 22.

Here, Stats Perform looks at the data behind some of the notable inclusions – including a midfielder who could become England's youngest player at a major tournament – and eye-catching omissions from Southgate's preliminary selection.

Bellingham on course to break Owen's record

Jude Bellingham has enjoyed a stunning debut season at Borussia Dortmund following his move from Championship side Birmingham City for a reported €23million (£21m). 

He made 19 appearances in the Bundesliga, scoring once, and became the youngest English player to net in the Champions League when he struck against Manchester City in the quarter-finals, aged 17 years and 289 days. 

The midfielder made his England debut as a substitute against the Republic of Ireland in November, which he followed up with another appearance from the bench in the World Cup qualifying win over San Marino in March. 

Bellingham is expected to make Southgate's final squad and should he feature in any of the games – a near-certainity given the supreme confidence with which he has taken to elite-level football – he will break Michael Owen's 23-year record as the youngest player to feature for the Three Lions at a major tournament. 

He could also be joined by two other teenagers, with Arsenal's Bukayo Saka and Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood, who are both still yet to turn 20, also in Southgate's long list.

The inclusion of that trio meant the average age of the squad on Tuesday was just 25 years and 12 days. 

Alexander-Arnold storms back into contention

Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold was controversially left out of England's squad for the March internationals, but a strong end to the season saw him included in Southgate's pool of players this time around.

The Liverpool right-back certainly struggled in the early stages of the campaign, but he finished it having created more chances (77) than any other defender in the Premier League. 

He also had more goal involvements (two goals, seven assists) and tallied up more successful crosses (37) than any other defender, while only Leeds United's Luke Ayling (279) made more than his 258 recoveries. 

A surprise inclusion in defence was Brighton and Hove Albion's Ben White. 

The 23-year-old quietly went about his business with Graham Potter's side and ended the campaign with the best combined tackles and interceptions ratio per 90 minutes (3.13) of any English centre back who played more than 900 minutes. He was significantly ahead of second-placed Harry Maguire (2.63), who has also been included in the squad despite injury concerns. 

White also has the highest average carry distance (11.4 metres) of that group of players, ahead of John Stones (11.2) and Maguire (11.1), while he also made the most carries which resulted in taking an opposition player on (18). A carry is defined as when a player travels five or more metres with the ball.

Everton defender Ben Godfrey was also selected for the provisional squad, with Southgate saying of the pair: "I think they're both exciting young defenders, they can play left, right, midfield in White's case.

"It's an opportunity for us to know them better. I think it works for everybody. Not knowing how long they'll be with us at this stage, but it'll be a fantastic experience for them."

'Difficult call' to leave Dier out

While a number of players will consider themselves unfortunate to miss out, James Maddison, Eric Dier, Danny Ings and Patrick Bamford were arguably the four most glaring omissions.

Dier, in particular, will feel aggrieved to have been snubbed, having been a key member in the run to the World Cup 2018 semi-finals and a regular in the squad since, but he has struggled for form for Tottenham this term.

He gave away two penalties in his 28 appearances in 2020-21 – only Kyle Walker and team-mate Davinson Sanchez (three) conceded more in the English top flight.

Explaining his decision to not call up Dier, Southgate said: "Unfortunately, I don't think his season has been strong enough to be in the squad. It's a difficult call because I know how much he brings to the whole group and when you're at a tournament those team players are critical."

Maddison has not always been a favourite of Southgate's, meanwhile.

The attacking midfielder managed eight goals and five assists in 31 Premier League appearances for Leicester City this season. However, of the seven other midfielders to have been directly involved in more goals than Maddison's 13, three of them – Phil Foden (14), James Ward-Prowse (15) and Jack Grealish (16) – are part of England's squad.

Maddison created an average of 2.18 chances per 90 minutes in an injury hampered 2020-21 league campaign, which is again below the likes of Mason Mount (2.71) and Grealish (3.34), but ahead of Foden (2.01), Ward-Prowse (1.58) and Jesse Lingard (1.14).

FA Cup Winners 2021 Dreams really do come true  pic.twitter.com/EHdXsgKTEg

— James Maddison (@Madders10) May 15, 2021

"It's an area of the pitch where we've got unbelievable competition for places," Southgate said. "We just feel there are players ahead of James in those areas."

As for Ings and Bamford, the pair scored 12 and 17 top-flight goals for Southampton and Leeds respectively this season.

Bamford's average of 0.5 goals per 90 minutes and Ings' 0.49 ranks them favourably among English strikers in the Premier League, ahead of Marcus Rashford (0.34), Greenwood (0.34) and Ollie Watkins (0.38), who they were competing with for a squad place.

"There is of course Danny and Patrick, who have had very good seasons," Southgate said. "But we didn't see any reason to change these positions from the players who did very well with us in the three qualifiers that we won in March."

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