Henderson, Dier receive shock England calls and Greenwood omitted from foreign-based Euro 2024 squad

Matt Stead
Bayern Munich defender Eric Dier, Juventus player Samuel Iling-Junior and Ajax midfielder Jordan Henderson, also of England
Behold the England expats for the Euros

There is no room for Manchester United’s on-loan forward Mason Greenwood in a foreign-based England squad for Euro 2024, led by the country’s two best stars.

It is a little weird that the two best players in the actual England squad for Euro 2024 ply their club trade outside the country, but it bears wondering: what would an entirely foreign-based 26-man selection look like?

We have tried to mirror the Southgate calls as closely as possible, picking eight defenders, five midfielders and ten forwards, with Jude Bellingham falling into the latter category because of vibes and such.

And to make things fair, “the best English goalkeeper around” and his ilk will not be considered eligible. That means Jack Butland and any other player currently at a British club.

There are surprise omissions for Joe Worrall, Jesse Lingard, Sam Surridge and Ryan Kent, but these boys should do us proud by going out in the groups.


Josef Bursik (Club Brugge)
Yet to actually make his full Club Brugge debut after joining from Stoke in January 2023, Bursik is nevertheless that major tournament staple: an excellent traveller. He did not play a minute of England’s U17 World Cup win in 2017 but was a diligent back-up in India.


Charlie Setford (Ajax)
Another call-up for Dutch and English youth international Setford, who is still without a senior Ajax appearance but at 20 makes his second completely foreign-based Euros squad.


Nathan Trott (Vejle BK)
In terms of regular game time, the only player approaching this entirely hypothetical tournament scenario in any sort of match rhythm is West Ham academy graduate Trott. He remains on the London Stadium books, having spent the past two seasons helping Vejle BK gain promotion to the Danish Superliga before a campaign of consolidation.


Archie Brown (Gent)
The only outright left-back in the selection, Brown has had a couple of injuries but nothing to properly disrupt a promising season for European qualifiers Gent, for whom he assisted four goals in 44 games.


Eric Dier (Bayern Munich)
Never quite trusted by Ange Postecoglou at Spurs, the response from Dier was emphatic: to reach a Champions League semi-final and become crucial to a Bayern Munich team in transition ahead of Vincent Kompany’s managerial arrival.


Carl Jenkinson (Newcastle Jets)
Not about to turn down that level of experience or versatility.


Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Lyon)
Frozen out by Mikel Arteta at one point
, Maitland-Niles intermittently forced his way back into Arsenal’s plans but it was a perennial uphill battle. He was released upon the expiration of his Gunners contract in the summer of 2023 and used the opportunity to move to France instead, playing about six different positions in a positive first season at Lyon.


Omar Richards (Olympiakos)
Pulled into the Marinakis vortex when Nottingham Forest paid £10m to Bayern Munich for the defender in summer 2022, Richards has still never played for what remains his parent club. He was shuffled along to Olympiakos for 2023/24, a campaign he watched mostly from the sidelines, including the Conference League final win over Fiorentina.

👉 England need a radical plan: Play Declan Rice in the centre of defence
👉 Eze leaves after fallout, Mainoo barely plays, Foden the new Rashford – what England squad numbers say
👉 How Euro 2024 works: tie-breakers, predicted knockout routes and why the draw helps England

Chris Smalling (Roma)
“I don’t really feel like I need to prove anything to Gareth,” Smalling once said of public criticism from Southgate so rare the England manager later apologised for his poor handling of the situation. But there has been no call-up on the end of that olive branch for a player who has restored and even boosted his reputation in Italy.


Djed Spence (Genoa)
Spence has played more games for Rennes, Leeds and now Genoa than he has for Spurs since joining against Antonio Conte’s apparent wishes in summer 2022. The Serie A side are so enamoured they want his stay to be made permanent.


Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan)
Not a single England squad announcement can be ratified until someone questions the omission of Tomori. It is curious just how determined Southgate seems to overlook the centre-half, who can console himself with a starting role in this team.


Angel Gomes (Lille)
Despite courting interest from both Chelsea and Manchester United when his Old Trafford contract was nearing an end in 2020, Gomes bet on himself and branched out for a more favourable first-team pathway. That was on offer at Lille, for whom he has been a regular, crucial and really very good player for the past three seasons.


Jordan Henderson (Ajax)
The path to redemption starts here – provided he admits how daft and disappointing his terrible life choices have been of late.


Ruben Loftus-Cheek (AC Milan)
Southgate took Loftus-Cheek to a World Cup on the back of a fairly good loan at Crystal Palace; the 28-year-old was not even close to the England radar for Euro 2024 despite an excellent first year in Italy.


Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Besiktas)
A sinking familiarity accompanies the sight of ‘torn thigh muscle’ as the explanation for a long stretch of absence endured by Oxlade-Chamberlain this season. But he recovered to be an unused substitute in a Turkish Cup final victory while featuring in the final stretch of games in the league.


Jonjo Shelvey (Rizespor)
Nottingham Forest and the Premier League both officially reported Shelvey’s September 2023 move to Rizespor as a loan, eight months after the midfielder signed a new two-and-a-half-year contract at the City Ground. But Forest being Forest, it was later revealed that the switch was permanent and Shelvey’s deal had to be rescinded, as the Premier League side already had too many players out on loan. The 32-year-old handled that farce well, even captaining Rizespor a couple of times while scoring three goals, assisting seven and hopefully doing that hilarious glasses celebration.


Tammy Abraham (Roma)
A debut season of record-breaking magnitude set a ludicrously high bar which Abraham has understandably struggled to reach thereafter at Roma. Since scoring 27 goals in 53 games for the club in 2021/22, he has netted ten times in 66 matches. Chelsea are still one of a few Premier League clubs sniffing around because of course they are.


Dapo Afolayan (FC St Pauli)
With Fabian Hurzeler bound for Brighton, it only seems right to capitalise on the hype and hand a surprise nod to one of his most heartening success stories. Afolayan was plucked from League One side Bolton in January 2023 and scored the two goals which sealed St Pauli’s Bundesliga promotion 18 months later, capping his personal rise from the ninth tier of English football to Germany’s top flight.


Chuba Akpom (Ajax)
When something different is required and this side needs a Plan B from the bench, it will be time to call upon Akpom. The former Middlesbrough striker cost Ajax £12.2m and his first season included 15 goals and three assists in 36 appearances, of which only 11 were starts.


Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid)
An obvious inclusion, not least because it means we can properly snub Mason Greenwood.


Jamie Bynoe-Gittens (Borussia Dortmund)
The only English player to appear in a Champions League final at a younger age than Bynoe-Gittens is Trent Alexander-Arnold. It is a fine path to follow for the former Reading, Chelsea and Manchester City academy prospect, who has established himself as a Bundesliga force.


Marcus Edwards (Sporting)
That sense of wasted potential which lingered at Tottenham has long since expired for Edwards, whose reinvention in Portugal has been thoroughly impressive: 41 goals and 40 assists in 206 appearances for Vitoria Guimaraes and current club Sporting, with whom he has just won the league title.


Samuel Iling-Junior (Juventus)
A pawn in the Douglas Luiz transfer game
, Iling-Junior will arrive at Aston Villa after finally properly breaking into the Juventus first team. A whole 32 England youth caps include glory at the U19 Euros in 2022 alongside Jarell Quansah and Carney Chukwuemeka.


Harry Kane (Bayern Munich)
Someone’s got to take corners.


Joe Lolley (Sydney FC)
Do not doubt the balance in that attacking selection: one Bellingham, three centre-forwards, three left-wingers and three right-wingers, a group among which Lolley and his 12 goals and seven assists in Australia this season can count himself.


Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)
Sorry to hear the Erik ten Hag news, friend.

Full 26-man foreign-based England squad

Goalkeepers: Josef Bursik (Club Brugge), Charlie Setford (Ajax), Nathan Trott (Vejle BK).

Defenders: Archie Brown (Gent), Eric Dier (Bayern Munich), Carl Jenkinson (Newcastle Jets), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Lyon), Omar Richards (Olympiakos), Chris Smalling (Roma), Djed Spence (Genoa), Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan).

Midfielders: Angel Gomes (Lille), Jordan Henderson (Ajax), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (AC Milan), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Besiktas), Jonjo Shelvey (Rizespor).

Forwards: Tammy Abraham (Roma), Dapo Afolayan (FC St Pauli), Chuba Akpom (Ajax), Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid), Jamie Bynoe-Gittens (Borussia Dortmund), Marcus Edwards (Sporting), Samuel Iling-Junior (Juventus), Harry Kane (Bayern Munich), Joe Lolley (Sydney FC), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund).