Who are the England's new boys in provisional squad for Euro 2020?
Who are England’s new boys? Ben White’s patience has paid off, Ben Godfrey caught Gareth Southgate’s eye in January… and Sam Johnstone will surely be playing in the Premier League next season
- Gareth Southgate has called up a number of new boys for his preliminary squad
- Ben White and Ben Godfrey have impressed this season at Brighton and Everton
- Goalkeepers Sam Johnstone and Aaron Ramsdale will also hope to keep places
- Sportsmail has taken a close look at the players looking to catch Southgate’s eye
- Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here.
Gareth Southgate revealed his preliminary squad ahead of England’s Euro 2020 campaign and handed a number of surprise names a call-up.
Brighton defender Ben White, Everton stalwart Ben Godfrey and the two goalkeepers, Sam Johnstone and Aaron Ramsdale, were all named in the group and will hope to impress Southgate before he cuts his numbers.
Here, Sportsmail has taken a closer look at each of the players vying for their first ever senior Three Lions caps…
Gareth Southgate named a number of new boys in his preliminary England squad for the Euros
Last summer, Ben White’s representatives held talks with England boss Gareth Southgate.
Chelsea, Liverpool and Leeds were all sniffing around and White wanted to know if remaining at Brighton would harm his chances of ever playing for England.
Southgate was clear: staying put would not hold him back, he just needed to play.
Ben White has never played for England at any level but will now look to seize his opportunity
A year on, both sides have kept their side of the bargain.
The 23-year-old started 36 Premier League games this season – more than anyone else in Graham Potter’s side. White has never represented England at any level but now comes a chance to prove he belongs in their trimmed-down Euro 2020 squad.
It caps an amazing rise that has seen him climb from League Two to England in four seasons.
Southgate and his scouts have seen Brighton enough in recent months to know that White’s compatriots Adam Webster and Lewis Dunk have both been impressive, too. But neither offers his versatility.
White has typically played on the right of a back three but Potter has also used him at right back, at the heart of a back four, and in defensive midfield.
White has turned heads at a number of big clubs and his versatility has impressed Southgate
With Southgate sweating on the fitness of players such as Harry Maguire and Kalvin Phillips, White could help plug holes across the pitch. He even occasionally filled in for midfielder Phillips during a loan spell at Leeds in 2019-20.
That White is capable of playing so many different roles at such a young age is testament to his tactical and positional intelligence.
It is also reflective of his ability and confidence on the ball. During this first top-flight campaign with Brighton, where he came through the academy, the defender has shown himself to be comfortable driving out of defence, or looking to build attacks with his impressive passing range.
No wonder he turned heads at Liverpool and beyond. No wonder Southgate wanted to ensure that, wherever he ended up, White’s talent was not allowed to rot on the bench.
It was in the middle of a bleak midwinter that Gareth Southgate headed to Goodison Park for what would prove to be a worthwhile scouting expedition.
Everton v Leicester, on January 27, featured several would-be England candidates. James Justin was bright for the visitors, as were Harvey Barnes and James Maddison. Jordan Pickford endured a moment to forget, conceding a silly goal, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin ran relentlessly in the rain.
But it was the home team’s right back who gave Southgate most to ponder. Ben Godfrey was unyielding in his tussle with Barnes and made a big impression.
Two weeks later, when Everton faced Tottenham in the FA Cup on another freezing cold night, England’s head coach was back again.
Southgate frequently watched Ben Godfrey in action this season and named him in the squad
From that point, through to the end of the season, Southgate has frequently made the two-hour journey from his home in North Yorkshire to watch Godfrey. He was there for games against Aston Villa, Tottenham and Wolves. The miles he put in were for a reason.
Godfrey, 23, has had an outstanding first season for Everton, being named the club’s Young Player of the Year. He cost more than £30million when Norwich sold him and he was given a baptism of fire when pitched into the heat of a Merseyside derby on October 17, but that experienced made him.
He has played in both full back positions, been part of a three-man defence and an orthodox central defender in a two. He has got on with his business with the minimum of fuss – despite going through the ordeal of uprooting his life in the middle of a pandemic – and delighted Carlo Ancelotti.
Three Lions boss Southgate toyed with the idea of calling up Godfrey for World Cup qualifiers
‘To see and watch Ben Godfrey, in this period, is a pleasure for a manager,’ Ancelotti said recently.
Southgate toyed with the idea of picking him for the World Cup qualifiers in March but it was felt he would be better utilised at the Under 21 tournament in Slovenia.
It was, however, only a matter of time before he got a call for the seniors. This selection could be the start of a long journey.
West Bromwich Albion may not be in the Premier League next season, but their goalkeeper Sam Johnstone surely will be.
Johnstone enhanced his reputation with a string of superb displays which, though they could not keep the Baggies above the waterline, are set to earn him a move, with West Ham showing strong interest and Tottenham also monitoring the situation. The Hammers see him as a potential long-term successor to Lukasz Fabianski.
Johnstone has arguably played better in the top flight than he did in the Championship, where he helped West Brom to promotion but was not a key player.
West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone will surely return to the Premier League after starring
With far more work to do in the Premier League, he has stepped up to the task, immediately earning the trust of Sam Allardyce after he replaced the sacked Slaven Bilic in December.
Johnstone’s performances will leave him relatively confident of edging out Aaron Ramsdale for the final goalkeeping spot in Southgate’s squad.
After impressing at Bournemouth in 2019-20, Ramsdale moved to Sheffield United for £18million but suffered a second consecutive relegation and was unable to brighten a grim season at Bramall Lane, which started terribly and never really improved. He is now hoping to end it on a high note.
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