The England national team from the 2018 World Cup

England’s 26-man squad for Qatar 2022 World Cup revealed

England men’s football manager Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar has finally been announced, with Leicester’s James Maddison included after much debate.

The Leicester midfielder, who’s only cap came in November 2019, has been one of the top playmakers in the Premier League with six goals and four assists in 12 games this season.

Regarding Maddison’s inclusion, Southgate said: “We think he can give us something slightly different to the other attacking players that we’ve got.”


Leading the line for the Three Lions will be captain Harry Kane, with Newcastle’s Callum Wilson and Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford as expected back-ups at the striker positions.

Maddison, Chelsea’s Raheem Sterling, Manchester City pair Phil Foden and Jack Grealish, and Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka round out the forward options.


West Ham captain Declan Rice will anchor the midfield, with Borussia Dortmund wonderkid Jude Bellingham expected to be his partner after the 19-year-old also made the cut.

Other midfielders include Chelsea duo Mason Mount and Conor Gallagher, Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, and Manchester City’s Kalvin Phillips.

Gallagher comes as a surprise inclusion at the expense of Southampton skipper James Ward-Prowse, as Southgate cited the 22 year-old’s ability to help stop, create and score goals as important attributes to his skillset.

Defenders and Goalkeepers

Luke Shaw (Manchester United) and Kieran Trippier (Newcastle) are the favourites for the starting wing-back positions, with Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) and Kyle Walker (Manchester City) available as well.

Walker often played as the right center-back in a back three for the national team, and can play there alongside the likes of City teammate John Stones, Arsenal’s Ben White, Tottenham’s Eric Dier and Everton’s Conor Coady.

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire is also on the plane, backed by Southgate in recent months despite a lack of playing time and a string of poor performances.

“We’ve picked out more experienced defenders, and we think at this moment in time, the younger ones have got some really good qualities, but we don’t quite think they’ve done enough to push the more experienced ones out.

“And we think (that) the tournament we’re going into and the level of the matches, that needed to be the pecking order.”

The goalkeeping trio is Everton’s Jordan Pickford, Newcastle’s Nick Pope and Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale.


Fitness was a major concern for the selection, with a congested club schedule causing concern for the conditions of players.

Walker and Phillips were doubts in terms of their availability, with the former not back in full training and the latter recently returning to action after missing most of the season.

Reece James and Ben Chilwell both miss out due to injuries, likely starters as wing-backs if fit.

Southgate talked about James’ failed race for fitness, saying that the Chelsea man would have only been fit by the latter stages of the tournament, by which point it would have been too demanding to bring him in after a lengthy absence.

Notable omissions include centre-backs Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan) and Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Brentford talisman Ivan Toney, ex-Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham (AS Roma), West Ham winger Jarrod Bowen and Manchester United forward Jadon Sancho.

Featured image credit:

Антон Зайцев via Wikimedia Commons under the Creative Commons license CC BY-SA 3.0

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