England Euro 2024 squad talking points: Who partners Stones? Midfield youngsters included, Southgate trusts in Crystal Palace

Gareth Southgate has officially announced his final England squad for Euro 2024, including exciting midfield youngsters, more Crystal Palace players than any other side, and leaving key questions as to who will partner John Stones

The seven names cut from the initial 33-man squad include experienced internationals Harry Maguire, Jack Grealish, and James Maddison, as well as younger talent such as Jarrad Branthwaite, Curtis Jones, James Trafford, and Jarrell Quansah.

With Maguire missing out due to a calf injury, Southgate is said to have considered Branthwaite’s inclusion for the longest of the seven players. The 21-year-old was called up off the back of a highly impressive campaign as a stalwart of Sean Dyche’s Everton side, and has been closely tracked by a number of top Premier League clubs, most notably Manchester United, however does not seem to have made the cut for a Euro’s debut.

As such, this poses the question as to who will partner John Stones in defence, with remaining centre-backs in the squad including Ezri Konsa, Marc Guéhi, and Lewis Dunk, whilst Liverpool’s Joe Gomez can fill in all across the back line.

Grealish and Maddison are also significant absences, but have freed up room in the squad for youngsters Adam Wharton (20) and Kobbie Mainoo (19), which marks the pair’s first and second call-ups respectively following impressive performances in the second half of the season for Crystal Palace and Manchester United respectively.

The central midfielders also impressed in cameos during their debut for England, standing out with an excellent composure and ability to progress the ball beyond their years, offering Southgate two unique profiles not found elsewhere in the squad.

Wharton’s teammate Eberechi Eze has also been included for his first major international tournament, meaning that, as well as the aforementioned Guéhi and goalkeeper Dean Henderson, no other side has more players in the Three Lions’ squad than The Eagles.

After facing off against Iceland at Wembley on 7 June, England will kick off their Euro campaign against Serbia on Sunday June 16 at the VELTINS-Arena.

Travis Levison | Get Football

More European Football News