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A player-by-player guide to England's World Cup squad

All you need to know about the 23 men picked by Gareth Southgate

A player-by-player guide to England's World Cup squad
Tom Victor
16 May 2018

England boss Gareth Southgate has announced his 23-man squad for this summer’s World Cup in Russia, and it’s as inexperienced as they come.

Gary Cahill is the only member with more than 40 international caps, while Trent Alexander-Arnold and Nick Pope are included despite not playing a single minute for their country.

Burnley goalkeeper Pope was in the last squad but didn’t get on the pitch, while Alexander-Arnold comes in as right-back cover after club teammate Joe Gomez was ruled out following surgery.

England fans were tasked with announcing the squad in the video below, while we’ve got a breakdown of the 23 men involved.


Jack Butland

Stoke’s number one is the only one of the three keepers with World Cup experience, having started the dead rubber against Costa Rica in 2014, but may begin the tournament on the bench after suffering relegation with the Potters.

Jordan Pickford

The Everton man is the most expensive English goalkeeper ever, following his summer 2017 move from Sunderland, and will hope to start after long-time first choice Joe Hart was left out of the 23 by Southgate.

Nick Pope

One of the breakthrough stars of the season, Pope hadn’t played a single Premier League minute before stepping in for the injured Tom Heaton this season. However his form for surprise package Burnley has earned him a place in the squad.


Trent Alexander-Arnold

The local lad has played a huge role in Liverpool’s run to the Champions League final, scoring his first goal for the club in the play-off victory over Hoffenheim, and has become a regular just in time to break into the international set-up ahead of the tournament.

Gary Cahill

The most experienced member of the squad, Chelsea captain Cahill has been in and out of the team at club level but will travel to his second straight World Cup with England.

Phil Jones

The Manchester United centre-back has been a fixture in the second-tightest defence in the Premier League, and edges out his club partner Chris Smalling for a place in the squad.

Harry Maguire

Leicester’s big-money summer signing from Hull might only have a handful of caps to his name, but he’s many people’s pick to start at centre-back in Russia.

Read more: Joe Hart has been left out of the England World Cup squad

Danny Rose

Rose might have struggled for form and fitness this season, but the Tottenham left-back makes it in despite plenty of competition in his position.

John Stones

The most expensive English centre-back in history, costing Manchester City £47.5m from Everton, Stones makes the final cut after being one of the defenders on standby in 2014.

Kieran Trippier

The Tottenham man has been a regular for his club despite the arrival of Serge Aurier, and is just as capable in a back four or as a wing-back.

Kyle Walker

Trippier’s predecessor at Spurs might be used as a centre-back in a back three, something with which Southgate experimented in the last set of friendlies, but wherever he plays, his inclusion was a no-brainer.

Ashley Young

Manchester United man Young wasn’t expected to be near the squad a year ago, but his resurgence as a full-back under Jose Mourinho means he’ll travel to a major tournament more than a decade after his England debut.


Dele Alli

The Spurs man is a likely starter, despite not enjoying his best season, and is one of a few players who will hope to perform better than he did at an underwhelming Euro 2016.

Fabian Delph

Comfortable on the ball and able to fill in at left-back if needed, Man City utility player Delph is a surprise pick and will travel to his first major tournament after missing the Euros through injury.

Eric Dier

Another Spurs man, Dier scored England’s first goal at the Euros and can be called upon as centre-back cover if required.

Jordan Henderson

Liverpool’s captain will likely wear the armband for his country, having done so in recent matches, and is one of more experienced squad members with 38 caps.

Jesse Lingard

The Manchester United wide-man has shown himself to be a big-game player, scoring the winner in the 2016 FA Cup final and contributing to a big win at Arsenal this season.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek

The Crystal Palace midfielder, on loan from Chelsea, has hit the ground running since returning from injury towards the end of the season. Not an England starter, but a handy option from the bench.


Harry Kane

England and Tottenham’s leading man, Kane goes into the tournament off the back of a season in which he has scored a remarkable 41 goals in all competitions.

Marcus Rashford

Rashford impressed in his short time on the pitch at Euro 2016, and goes into this tournament with more experience for his country and for Manchester United, achieving a second-straight double-figure season for goals despite only turning 20 in October

Raheem Sterling

He might be used out wide for England, but Sterling has given a good account of himself as a false nine for Manchester City. A key member of Pep Guardiola’s record-breakers.

Jamie Vardy

Vardy has quietly helped himself to 20 Premier League goals this season, and has shown himself to be more than the one-season wonder some feared when he led Leicester to the 2016 title.

Danny Welbeck

The Arsenal forward hasn’t been in blistering goalscoring form, but he’s scored at a major tournament for England in the past.

How England could line up

Our prediction for the starting XI against Tunisia on 18 June

(Images: Getty/LineupBuilder)