England watch: Who impressed ahead of Gareth Southgate's squad announcement?
Gareth Southgate names his England squad on Thursday
Last Updated: 28/08/18 5:39am
Gareth Southgate names his squad for England’s UEFA Nations League fixture against Spain and the friendly against Switzerland on Thursday, but who will make the cut? We look at which players impressed and which struggled in the latest round of Premier League games.
It was another good weekend for Theo Walcott. The forward was a high-profile omission from Southgate’s World Cup squad, but he continued his strong start to the season with a goal in Everton’s 2-2 draw with Bournemouth. He was not the only Englishman to impress in that game, either. Callum Wilson, who has already scored twice this season, had a hand in both of Bournemouth’s goals.
Danny Welbeck’s lack of game-time at Arsenal could cost him when Southgate names his squad, but he certainly made the most of his opportunity from the bench against West Ham, calmly dispatching Hector Bellerin’s cross for his first goal of the campaign.
Southgate will have liked what he saw from Leicester duo Demarai Gray and Harry Maguire against Southampton. Gray, who has completed more dribbles (10) than any other Premier League player this season, scored Leicester’s equaliser, with Maguire drilling their late winner from outside the box.
Liverpool’s Joe Gomez has been tipped for an England call-up and it’s easy to see why. The 21-year-old helped Jurgen Klopp’s side keep their third consecutive clean sheet of the season against Brighton on Saturday, producing another assured display alongside Virgil van Dijk.
Trent Alexander-Arnold shone, too. The 19-year-old is already firmly in Southgate’s thinking having featured at the World Cup, and his progress continued with another mature display against Brighton. Alexander-Arnold struck the crossbar with one free-kick and caught the eye with a string of impressive passes.
England vs Spain
September 8, 2018, 7:00pm
Jack Wilshere’s difficult start to the season continued as West Ham slumped to another defeat against his former side Arsenal. Wilshere completed the 90 minutes at the Emirates Stadium, receiving a fond reception from the home fans, but he struggled to make an impact and showed his frustration when he earned a late booking.
Chris Smalling and Phil Jones both had nights to forget as Manchester United suffered a 3-0 defeat at home to Tottenham. Jones appeared to limp off with a hamstring problem late on but by then he had been fortunate not to give away a penalty, been out-jumped by Harry Kane for Spurs’ opener and struggled as part of Jose Mourinho’s much-changed back-three.
From Smalling there was evidence of the wayward passing which has concerned Southgate in the past, while he was turned inside out by Lucas Moura for the third goal, undoing some impressive tackles earlier in the game.
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Michael Keane scored his first Premier League goal for Everton in their 2-2 draw with Bournemouth but his hopes of returning to Southgate’s squad were dashed as he suffered a hairline fracture to the skull in stoppage time at the Vitality Stadium. He is expected to spend over a month on the sidelines.
Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon has been tipped for a senior England call-up but the 18-year-old was dropped for their 4-2 win over Burnley, only coming off the bench with a minute of normal time remaining.
It was a disappointing afternoon for Chelsea’s English contingent against Newcastle. Ross Barkley appeared as a late substitute for Mateo Kovacic having lost his place in the team, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek did not make it off the bench and Gary Cahill was not even included in the squad.