Ten England players who need a January move to secure or claim a Euro 2024 spot

Dave Tickner
Kalvin Phillips, Emile Smith Rowe and Jadon Sancho all need a move
Kalvin Phillips, Emile Smith Rowe and Jadon Sancho all need a move

Some of these 10 are probably beyond saving, realistically. But you can’t have a topical top seven, can you? That way madness lies.


10) Calum Chambers
It was wildly optimistic of us to try and make this a top 10. Hands up who can state with any confidence what club he’s even at right now… Liars. He hasn’t played a minute of Premier League football this season and couldn’t even get a game in the Carabao. Fair to say his Euro hopes are slip-sliding away. And also that this is probably not his primary concern at this time.

Oh and it’s Aston Villa.


9) Dean Henderson
First he needs to not be injured. Sort that out first, and then wonder quite how you’ve gone from Manchester United’s long-term successor to David De Gea to Manchester United’s perennial bench-warming number two to Crystal Palace’s number two. Getting away from the Manchester United Circus was probably a good idea, but swapping one bench for another not so much. Especially to sit behind one of his England rivals in the pecking order. Has somehow manoeuvred himself into a position of being sixth-choice goalkeeper in a country with four goalkeepers.


8) Joe Gomez
Tricky one this. He’s not frozen out at club level like some of those above him on this list, or being inexplicably yet calculatedly ignored by Gareth Southgate despite wildly eye-catching form like James Ward-Prowse, but he isn’t getting the chance to really catch the eye.

Given the uncertainty and apparent availability of centre-back spots behind John Stones and we must also probably accept Harry Maguire, Gomez could really do with a sustained run of games in one position over a period of weeks and months. He’s not going to get that at Liverpool, where his role is high-level utility player: a start here, a chunky appearance off the bench there. Sometimes at centre-back, more often this season at right-back.

It’s all summed up by the fact Gomez has been involved in all but one of Liverpool’s Premier League and Europa League games this season but is still yet to hit 500 minutes in total and barely a third of that at centre-back. Mind, Gareth loves a right-back.


7) James Ward-Prowse
Clearly, being brilliant for a surprisingly good West Ham side in the Premier League is no match for playing half-pace games in a sandy retirement league and Ward-Prowse must make January amends for his foolishly misguided summer move to the London Stadium. Sure, to you or I or Michail Antonio it might appear on a superficial level to be going really well indeed but Gareth operates on a different level of understanding to us mere mortals and he sees that this is in fact not the case. Don’t argue, accept it.


6) Aaron Ramsdale
Plenty of sympathy for Ramsdale and still a sense that Mikel Arteta was going a little bit Pep and trying to solve a problem that didn’t really exist, but the reality is now clear: Ramsdale is the number two of Arteta’s two number ones. He cannot continue bench-surfing in a major tournament season when the England squad has two goalkeeper spots very much up for grabs. He’s probably still in possession of one of them – again, Southgate – but there is a good bit of competition for those Jordan Pickford back-up roles.


5) Emile Smith Rowe
Just too good a player to be subsisting on a diet of Carabao starts and Champions League cameos. Likely to get slightly more opportunities as the season progresses and Arsenal, for the first time in so long, find themselves balancing the twin demands of Premier League title tilt and setting up a last-16 Champions League exit to Bayern Munich.

But it’s still not enough if he is to have any hope of kickstarting an England career that promised to be a long and fruitful one when collecting three caps and a goal against the mighty San Marino in 2021/22.


4) Eric Dier
Currently in the deeply curious position of being both wildly out of favour in the Angeball revolution going on at Tottenham yet also only a single Cristian Romero madness/injury away from being back in the team after the transfer window rudely interrupted Spurs’ long-overdue Painful Rebuild by slamming shut when they were only half finished.

Should still probably move on in January, though, and having forced his way back into Gareth Southgate’s plans once before it’d be a brave man to rule out another comeback given England’s centre-back issues, and with it the prospect of a 50th cap.


3) Harry Maguire
Things look a fraction less bleak for Maguire at Manchester United than they did even a few weeks ago, and his England squad place at least has never seriously been under threat given both the strength of Southgate’s loyalty and the distinct lack of viable experienced alternatives. John Stones’ return from injury does put slightly more pressure on Maguire but in truth he needs the move away from the United hothouse for reasons far beyond his England prospects, which can probably survive almost anything.


2) Jadon Sancho
Hasn’t won a single one of his 23 England caps while a Manchester United player, and that is not a statistic that is about to change. Arguably needs a move even more than Phillips. At least his manager is only sometimes calling him a bit fat in public rather than launching an all-out assault. Dortmund Sancho is surely still in there somewhere, just needs locating and releasing. Erik Ten Hag is not the man for this task.


1) Kalvin Phillips
One thing not getting a game because of Rodri. Quite another to see Rodri get injured and then a teenage right-back and a fresh-from-injury John Stones still preferred to you in central midfield. Never has the writing been more plainly on the wall for a player. There is no future here and even Gareth’s notoriously lengthy patience for his favourites is finite.

Not so long ago he was England’s player of the year, now he’s clinging on to a place in the squad, watching Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham be really rather magnificent, and unable to get a game for his club. Listen to the very loud alarm bells, Kalvin.

READ: The 10 England players who have played most under Gareth Southgate