Nothing captures England’s astonishing strength in depth quite like the omissions of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ben White.
Liverpool defender Alexander-Arnold completed domestic football by the age of 23 and starts for one of Europe’s biggest clubs every week.
Alexander-Arnold and White both missed out on a place in the latest England squad
Despite obvious concerns over his form, particularly defensively, it is difficult to think of another nation who wouldn’t name Alexander-Arnold in a 25-man squad.
The same goes for Arsenal regular White, who has started most games for Mikel Arteta’s rampant Premier League leaders this season.
Explaining the decisions, Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate said: “With Ben [White], it’s similar with him and Trent. The three boys who are in at right full-back are just ahead of those two.
“We are blessed in that position with a depth of talent. It’s the hardest position to pick and it’s never straight forward criteria.
“A little bit on form as well, Kyle [Walker] and Trips [Kieran Trippier] were the ones who started the games at the World Cup and have both been consistent.
“Reece [James] coming back is another top player. We’d love to have that depth at every position on the field.”
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But the truth is, Southgate could name an entirely competitive XI of players he had to leave out, not just at right-back.
Defender Fikayo Tomori starred for AC Milan as they won the Serie A title last season and recently kept England captain Harry Kane quiet in a Champions League win over Tottenham.
There were suggestions Brighton centre-backs Lewi Colwill and Lewis Dunk could make the squad amid their club’s stunning league run, with similar calls for Brentford left-back Rico Henry.
Harvey Elliott has featured in every single Premier League game for Liverpool this season, while James Ward-Prowse is single-handedly keeping Southampton’s survival hopes alive.
Many expected Elliott to make the jump from England’s Under-21s
In attack, Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins, Brighton’s Solly March and Newcastle’s Callum Wilson have a combined 23 league goals this term.
Meanwhile, Manchester United’s £70million man Jadon Sancho has started to show signs of life after a lengthy absence due to physical and mental health concerns.
Most of these players would have no trouble getting into England squads of the past – now they must form an orderly queue.
Sancho is not even next in line, with Chelsea forward Raheem Sterling only missing out due to injury, while Leicester’s Harvey Barnes and West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen also boast strong cases.
We’ve put together an England XI based on players who were snubbed by Southgate for the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers against Italy and Ukraine.
It’s pretty tasty…
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