Those on the fringes of national sides across Europe have today been handed a boost, in the form of an update surrounding the number of players permitted to be called up for the European Championships.
Three Lions’ mounting options
England boss Gareth Southgate is of course one tactician to have come under increasing scrutiny for his squad selections of late.
A number of positions in the Three Lions’ panel – most notably right-back and attacking midfield – are bloated with quality options.
The latter, for example, could see any of Mason Mount, James Maddison, Jack Grealish, Phil Foden or even the rejuvenated Jesse Lingard step in to shine.
Southgate’s options on the right of his backline, meanwhile, range from Kyle Walker to Kieran Trippier, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Reece James and even Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
BRIGHTON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 14: Reece James of Chelsea scores his sides second goal during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Chelsea at American Express Community Stadium on September 14, 2020 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
Others on the outskirts of the England setup include talents the likes of Bukayo Saka, Michael Keane and Ollie Watkins.
Boost for Southgate
Such players, but above all the out of favour Trent Alexander-Arnold and sidelined Jack Grealish, will therefore no doubt be over the moon to hear of an imminent increase to the permitted size of squads at the European Championships.
Under normal circumstances, nations are permitted to call up 23 players for the tournament.
However, owing to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on players and clubs across the globe, UEFA have come to the decision to expand panel parameters to 26 this summer:
EXCLUSIVE: This could allow Gareth Southgate to take a calculated risk with Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish, who has been out with a shin problem since mid-February, writes @martynziegler https://t.co/xlGPhkQFt6
— Times Sport (@TimesSport) April 27, 2021