Who's on the Plane? England Euros squad power rankings - April 2021

23 April 2021 10:30

If you're an avid reader of 90min (casual will do, we're not fussy), you'll know that we started a series called 'Who's on the Plane' a long, long time ago.

Each and every month we revisit that delicious concept to update you on the fortunes of England's possible representatives at the rescheduled European Championship, based on how they've been getting on of late.

Granted, we only did March's edition on the first day of April (that bloody international break) but it feels so very appropriate to do so again before the month is out - given it's St George's Day and all that jazz.

World Cup England GIF by BBC - Find & Share on GIPHY

Last time out, we picked a 25-man squad - based on hot gossip that UEFA may look to increase the size of each squad from its traditional format of 23 - but we're returning to our traditional roots this time around, basically because that now looks like a bit of a non-runner.


Buckle up, stow your tray tables and definitely don't adopt that bloody awkward brace position as we present 90min's current 23-man England squad for the Euros.

23. Jordan Pickford (-)

Pickford was England's number one at the 2018 World Cup | Michael Regan/Getty Images

We don't know why Jordan Pickford concedes such silly goals. It might be because he has pretty short arms, but that's yet to be independently verified.

Either way, can we just have the 2018 World Cup king penalty saving version of Pickford back for this summer? Because that would be ideal.

22. Tyrone Mings (Down 1)

Mings had a horror moment against Fulham recently | Michael Regan/Getty Images

There was a point this season where Aston Villa were rivalling West Ham as the surprise package of the Premier League season.

Sadly, as time has gone by (with Jack Grealish crocked on the sidelines), Villa have kind of gone back to their old ways - with Mings responsible for an awful individual mistake against Fulham.

None of those for your country please, Tyrone.

21. Reece James (New Entry)

Reece James could get the nod as England's starter | Pool/Getty Images

Last time on WOTP, we omitted Reece James from our 25-man squad.

In hindsight, that was probably the correct* decision - but we're still going to change our minds anyway and offer more balance to this squad. To his credit, James is pretty tasty on his day and can, you know, defend - which for a right-back can be incredibly helpful on occasions.

*may not be true

20. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Up 2)

Alexander-Arnold may have turned a corner | Michael Regan/Getty Images

90min has stuck by Trent Alexander-Arnold throughout this WOTP process, despite Gareth Southgate axing him from his most recent England party.

Turns out we might have made the right decision after all, seeing as he seems to come alive again for Liverpool. Well, going forward at least. The less said about his defensive prowess the better.

19. Dominic Calvert-Lewin (-)

Calvert-Lewin is the obvious understudy to Kane | Visionhaus/Getty Images

The second half of the 2020/21 Premier League season hasn't been too kind to Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Everton's main man has had hamstring problems, the goals have dried up this side of Christmas and his club are teetering on the edge of European qualification because they can't win at home.

That all said, DCL is probably the best out and out striker England have got after Kane - but he's got to up his game.

18. Kalvin Phillips (Up 2)

Phillips is continuing to play well for Leeds | Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

There was an awful lot of scoffing and eyebrow raising when Kalvin Phillips first got into the England squad.

"A Leeds player? In the England squad? That's because of Bielsa, he's not even that good."

Turns out that's a load of cobblers, and it's now harder to see Phillips not making the cut this summer.

17. Jadon Sancho (Down 2)

On his day, Sancho is one of the best wingers in the world | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Bizarrely, there's some talk that Jadon Sancho's England spot may be in jeopardy this summer.

If that's the case, there clearly haven't been enough eyes watching the Bundesliga. Yes, some top tier German defences are an absolute shambles, but Sancho is really very bloody good for Dortmund.

Check the stats, watch him play and don't be so silly.

16. Jude Bellingham (Up 8)

Bellingham could be world class | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

One of our bonus picks in last month's edition of WOTP, Dortmund sensation Jude Bellingham bursts into the squad after a superb month both domestically and in Europe.

Putting Manchester City to the sword, the 17-year-old showed the continent exactly why he's rated as one of England's brightest ever prospects. He even got high praise from Pep, which kind of says it all.

15. Dean Henderson (Up 2)

Henderson appears to have wrestled Man Utd's number one jersey away from David de Gea | Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Seeing off David de Gea as first choice goalkeeper at Manchester United is some achievement for Dean Henderson.

Next up on his tick list, proving he's more deserving of an England spot than Nick Pope. May the best keeper win.

14. Jack Grealish (Down 3)

Grealish has been injured for a good while | Pool/Getty Images

It's taken so long for Gareth Southgate to recognise the talents of Jack Grealish, and now that he has, he's typically been injured for the last couple of months.

Villa's drop off in form is no coincidence, because Grealish really is the creative glue that holds everything together.

13. Ben Chilwell (-)

Chilwell's chances of starting would be helped if Chelsea played him every week | Visionhaus/Getty Images

Part deux of England's quality left-back options is Ben Chilwell, a man who has miraculously never eaten a Chinese.

That wild indiscretion aside, he's pretty much a dead cert pick, even if he's still watching the odd Chelsea game from the subs bench.

12. Jordan Henderson (-)

Henderson is nearing fitness | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Liverpool's captain continues to inspire off the pitch but Henderson still isn't back in action after injury.

He has time to get right for the Euros, but time is running out to prove he's capable of starting every game.

11. Nick Pope (Up 3)

England's number one? Pope will think so | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

It's not often that a country is undecided on who their best option between the sticks is.

Gareth Southgate definitely hasn't decided who his #1 is but for the third month in a row, Pope is the highest rated goalkeeper in our squad. That must count for something, surely?

10. Marcus Rashford (-)

Rashford is another who has had injury concerns | Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

20+ goals this season shows how good Marcus Rashford can be in front of goal.

11 goals in 40 internationals for England though? Hmmmm could do better, we dare say.

9. Kyle Walker (-)

Walker doesn't always start for Manchester City but he's reliable when he does | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

If Kyle Walker played for any other English side than Manchester City, he'd probably be starting every week with no questions asked.

But that's the problem with playing for somebody as good as City, they tend to have someone just as good as you waiting in the wings - in Walker's case, Joao Cancelo.

Still, Walker remains England's best right backright?

8. John Stones (Down 2)

Stones has made a couple of recent errors at club level | Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

If being out-sprinted by Stuart Dallas to concede a winning goal to Leeds wasn't bad enough, John Stones followed that up with a ghastly knee-high stud raker to earn a deserved red card against Aston Villa.

Just like the good old times, eh?!

7. Raheem Sterling (Down 3)

An out of sorts Sterling is not what England want | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

What has happened to Raheem Sterling?

Out of sorts, out of form and even out of the Manchester City team. He'll be back, don't worry about that, but the sooner Sterling hits his stride again, the better for England.

6. Luke Shaw (Up 2)

Shaw goes from strength to strength | James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

One of England's strongest areas is now, weirdly, at left-back.

The best of the bunch, Luke Shaw, remains in good touch and you'd imagine he is a shoo-in starter at the Euros.

5. Phil Foden (Up 2)

Foden may be entering undroppable territory | MB Media/Getty Images

We've known for a few years how good Phil Foden could be, and thanks to some (very) careful nurturing from Pep Guardiola, we're now starting to see him deliver on that enormous potential.

Manchester City and England legend of the future? Don't bet against it.

4. Declan Rice (Down 2)

Rice hasn't been seen since the March internationals | Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

The best holding midfielder in the country hasn't been in action since starring in England's international triple header at the end of March.

A pesky knee ligament injury is what's kept Rice sidelined, so fingers crossed he's over that in good time - not just to help England, but also to fire West Ham into the Champions League.

3. Mason Mount (Up 2)

Mount is crucial for club and country | Visionhaus/Getty Images

It's been a meteoric rise to superstardom for Mason Mount, who continues to impress whenever he takes to the field for club or country.

Chances are he's going to be taking to the European Championship field as a regular England starter, so keep that good stuff coming, buddy!

2. Harry Maguire (Up 1)

Maguire remains England's top defensive option | Mattia Ozbot/Getty Images

Finding a regular central defensive partner for Harry Maguire is proving problematic at both club and international level.

Still, Maguire doesn't seem to care, he just gets on with it as people still insult him for costing £80m.

Can't win, can he.

1. Harry Kane (-)

Kane is captain, leader.injured?! | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Fortunately, the ankle injury picked up by Harry Kane in Tottenham's recent 2-2 draw with Everton doesn't seem to be that bad.

It's a bloody good job, too, because who else is going to fire England to European Championship glory?! Don't answer that, you'll cry.

Full England Squad

Goalkeepers: Nick Pope (Burnley), Dean Henderson (Manchester United), Jordan Pickford (Everton)

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Reece James (Chelsea), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Luke Shaw (Manchester United)

Midfielders: Declan Rice (West Ham), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds), Jack Grealish (Aston Villa), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund)

Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

(Additional two places if 25-man squad is sanctioned by UEFA): DF - Conor Coady (Wolves), MF - Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)

For more from Toby Cudworth, follow him on Twitter!

Source: 90min