How England could look at Euro 2024
The England team probably won't change too much by the World Cup, but it could look very different by Euro 2024
A week makes a hell of a difference in football – so two years is practically a lifetime. England's squad look fairly set for next year's World Cup, but what about the Euros two years later?
Here, FFT looks at a possible XI for Euro 2024, in Germany.
Peter Shilton the obvious exception, goalkeepers rarely manage to hold down their place as England's no.1 for more than three tournaments – even David Seaman only made it to four – with many falling well short of that. Jordan Pickford will be aiming to make it four at Euro 2024 but, with many fans less than convinced over his top-class pedigree, it may be that England's manager makes a change before the finals in Germany.
Of the likely candidates, Aaron Ramsdale looks the most probably successor to the Everton man, having started well at Arsenal. He has great reflexes and the calm distribution required of a modern 'keeper and will be 27 in 2024 – in prime age to take the reins.
Kyle Walker will be 34 by the next Euros, and unlikely to still be part of the England set-up given the quality England have at right-back. Trent Alexander Arnold has struggled in an England shirt so far in his career but, by 2024, he'll be in his prime, at 27.
John Stones and Harry Maguire will be in their 30s and unlikely to still be the best England have to offer by then. Maguire already lacks pace and will be slower still by the time Germany comes around – meaning perhaps Ben White and the recently-called up Marc Guehi are the natural replacements. White is the Stones-like passer capable of starting attacks, while Guehi – who has captained Crystal Palace this season – is the likely leader profile in defence.
Let's not rule out the likes of Fikayo Tomori, either, while Ben Godfrey, Trevoh Chalobah and Max Kilman may all develop into fine options. At left-back, it's hard to see past Luke Shaw, who will be 29 then.
Declan Rice looks like a future England captain and, at 26, he'll be in his pomp. While Kalvin Phillips has been excellent for England so far, Jude Bellingham looks the superior prospect and will have bags of experience for a 21-year-old.
Ahead of the two deeper-lying midfielders, Mason Mount (who will also be 26) and Jack Grealish (28) pick themselves, while Jadon Sancho (25), who will hopefully be flourishing at Manchester United by then, may have a fight on his hands to displace Bukayo Saka (24). The future looks very bright indeed.
It's harder to spot a world-class striker from a young age. Many are converted from the wing, like Cristiano Ronaldo or Thierry Henry, while others simply aren't obvious wonderkids like Harry Kane or Robert Lewandowski. Who knows? Maybe Tammy Abraham will explode into the perfect no.9 for England.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Ollie Watkins and Ivan Toney are all relatively young, while Folarin Balogun and Eddie Nketiah are options for the future. Harry Kane will still only be 30, too.
Our wildcard pick, though? Maybe Phil Foden will be a fully-fledged forward by then…
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Ed is a staff writer at FourFourTwo, working across the magazine and website. A German speaker, he’s been working as a football reporter in Berlin since 2015, predominantly covering the Bundesliga and Germany's national team. Favourite FFT features include an exclusive interview with Jude Bellingham following the youngster’s move to Borussia Dortmund in 2020, a history of the Berlin Derby since the fall of the Wall and a celebration of Kevin Keegan’s playing career.
- Mark WhiteStaff Writer
By Conor Pope