England have qualified for Euro 2024 after finishing top of Group C in Uefa qualification and now look ahead to December’s draw.
After a draw with North Macedonia, there are now just two friendlies left until Gareth Southgate decides on his 23 players for Germany.
After a stylish 3-1 win over reigning champions Italy at Wembley Stadium, the Three Lions stumbled past Malta before a 1-1 draw in Skopje thanks to a controversial penalty.
England can look forward to glamour friendlies against Brazil and Belgium next March, but the fierce competition for places will mean form in the Premier League and around Europe will be crucial in the coming months.
Here is a closer look at who is heading to Germany and who might miss out.
On the plane
England’s captain remains their talisman on the pitch, both with his leadership and with his goals as he continues to add to his record tally. Kane has hit the ground running at Bayern Munich, and the 30-year-old has talked up the virtues of the Bundesliga’s winter break and playing one fewer domestic cup competition. Southgate will hope Kane is fit and fresh when the Euros come around.
The 20-year-old has quickly elevated himself to be one of England’s essential players. He is consistently producing outstanding performances both for his country and his new club, Real Madrid, racking up goals and assists after driving runs from midfield. Southgate likes Bellingham as a No 10 off Kane, and this could be the start of a fruitful partnership between England’s current captain and his likely successor.
Rice has made a good start to life at Arsenal, and his importance at international level has grown immeasurably over the past few years to the point where he is crucial to how England play.
The Manchester City defender has been a stalwart for Southgate over the years, integral to deep runs at the 2018 World Cup and the last Euros. Only Kane and Harry Maguire have won more than Stones’ 56 caps since the manager took charge in 2016, and the lack of centre-back alternatives only strengthens his position in the squad.
Experience, recovery pace and ability to play on the right of a back three all make the Manchester City defender an essential part of Southgate’s plans.
The Everton goalkeeper has been England’s No 1 for a long time and that position looks safe, particularly given the challenge Aaron Ramsdale now faces to keep his Arsenal place against competition from new arrival David Raya.
Saka is a popular and trusted member of the current group who is becoming a senior player, with 11 goals in 30 appearances, despite being only 22. His versatility down both the left and right flank, and ability to play as an attacking wing-back, is handy for a manager who likes to chop and change systems.
Foden is often still talked about in terms of potential, but he will be 24 when the Euros come around and is becoming increasingly essential to Pep Guardiola’s City team. His velcro control is unique in the England squad and Southgate’s only conundrum is how to fit his best attacking talents into the same team.
The Manchester United forward is the third highest goalscorer of the Southgate era, with 15, behind only Kane and Raheem Sterling. His pace and direct runs towards goal from the left wing complement Kane’s preference to drop deep and link play, and he can also offer an option as a No 9 should it be needed.
The City winger took time earning Southgate’s trust but, at 28 and with a treble on his CV, is now a regular squad member. The only question is whether the manager sees him as an important part of the first XI or a game-changing finisher off the bench.
One of Southgate’s favourites, Trippier is a certainty to be part of the squad for his experience, versatility to play full-back on both sides and his set-piece delivery. He may find himself on the bench when England play a back four, but tends to start at wing-back when Walker joins the back three.
The Manchester United defender is one of Southgate’s most trusted players and he was given another vote of confidence with a start against Italy in Euro 2024 qualifying. But a lack of playing time for his club will bring scepticism from fans and the media as the tournament nears.
The goalkeeper is battling for a starting place at Arsenal with David Raya, but Mikel Arteta’s messaging suggests that the Spaniard has arrived to share rather than steal the gloves, and so long as Ramsdale continues to play and play well, he will be on the plane.
When fit, Shaw is the preferred left-back in this England team, bringing attacking threat on the overlap as well as long-standing relationships with both Maguire and Rashford at Manchester United. He has been out with a leg injury since mid-August and will need to reestablish himself amid competition from Ben Chilwell and Trippier.
Like Maguire at United, Phillips is a firm favourite with the manager but there is a growing issue around his lack of game time for Manchester City. Phillips has admitted he might need to make a decision over his future, but he remains a leading option in a shallow pool of central midfielders and now has plenty of major tournament experience.
The midfielder struggled with an injury at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which prevented him from making an appearance, but his early-season form for Tottenham has demanded a place in recent squads and Maddison is poised to travel as deputy to Bellingham in the No 10 role.
The Chelsea left-back didn’t play a single minute at the last Euros and watched on as Shaw (and occasionally Trippier) filled that spot. He has been sidelined with a hamstring injury this season but a fit and firing Chilwell should be on the plane.
The midfielder was booed by England fans in recent internationals at Wembley following his move to the Saudi Pro League, but that only seemed to strengthen Southgate’s loyalties to the player. The manager values Henderson’s professionalism, experience and leadership in a youthful squad.
Southgate has talked up Sterling’s chances of figuring in his plans to the media, but the Chelsea winger has not been involved in recent camps and faces a fight against Rashford and Grealish, among others, to figure on the left side of England’s attack.
The Crystal Palace goalkeeper has overtaken Nick Pope in the running to be England’s third-choice goalkeeper and played well in a recent friendly with Australia.
Brighton’s captain had to wait five years for his second international cap but has done well with the opportunities presented to him in recent months. Dunk’s aerial dominance and ball-playing ability, honed at Brighton under Roberto De Zerbi, are valuable traits at centre-half, one of England’s most uncertain positions.
The full-back is one of the best in the world when fully fit but his lack of reliability is a concern, particularly with the smaller 23-player squad this time around. What’s more, James is fighting for a place against a competitive field of Walker, Trippier and Alexander-Arnold.
The Palace defender is highly rated by the England coaching team and, at 23, could be a future cornerstone of the back line. Centre-back is a position that’s up for grabs at Euro 2024 and Guehi has a real chance.
Gallagher has been bright and energetic in his cluster of England caps and is clearly valued by the manager, but other central midfielders are well-established internationals who will be tricky to usurp.
Watkins is in pole position to play the role of Kane’s deputy at the Euros, with a consistent stream of goals and assists since Unai Emery took over at Aston Villa…
…But Wilson is not far behind and when the Newcastle striker stays fit, the goals usually flow.
Work to do
Like Sterling, Mount has found himself pushed out of the England team by emerging talent and his own unconvincing form for new club Manchester United – although injuries have interrupted his season. Needs some goals and assists to earn a recall.
Southgate criticised the Milan defender last year for making too many mistakes, but Tomori has shown good form in Serie A and earned an autumn recall to the England squad.
The West Ham midfielder is in form for his club but out of favour for his country, having just missed out on the past two major tournaments and having been excluded from recent squads. There have been calls for him to usurp Henderson in midfield, but Southgate remains as yet unmoved.
The goalkeeper has lost his place as England’s third-choice keeper and needs a strong season for Newcastle to win back his spot.
Another West Ham player in form. Bowen has showed bright attacking intent in his five caps to date, but faces stiff competition in the winger roles.
The Brentford striker will return from a betting ban in January with five months to prove himself to Southgate. He will need to hit the ground running.
The Chelsea defender has established himself in Mauricio Pochettino’s team and has the ability to play both centre-back and left-back. Aged 20, this tournament may come just too soon with more established players ahead in the pecking order.
Liverpool’s 22-year-old midfielder had earned a regular place in Jurgen Klopp’s team earlier this season before injury struck. If he can impress regularly at Anfield, he will give Southgate something to consider.
The Arsenal defender left the 2022 World Cup for personal reasons and has not returned to the England setup. It is unclear whether White would want to, but continues to perform to a high level for one of the best teams in the Premier League.
The Palace midfielder has a couple of international caps but will need a stellar season to break into the Euros squad.
Gibbs-White worked up through the England age groups but is still to be recognised at senior level. Played a big part in England’s success at the Under-21 Euros in the summer.
Once seen as the natural understudy to Harry Kane, Calvert-Lewin has struggled with form and primarily fitness and has fallen down the pecking order behind Watkins and Wilson.
Konsa is a vital part of an improving Aston Villa team under Unai Emery, but is yet to earn a senior international call-up.
England Under-21s’ record goalscorer has only made one senior appearance so far and he would need a special season for Arsenal to break into the Euro 2024 squad.
Predicting England’s Euro 2024 squad
Goalkeepers: Pickford, Ramsdale, Johnstone.
Defenders: Walker, Alexander-Arnold, Trippier, Guehi, Stones, Dunk, Maguire, Shaw, Chilwell.
Midfielders: Rice, Phillips, Henderson, Maddison, Bellingham.
Forwards: Saka, Foden, Rashford, Grealish, Kane, Watkins.