Be honest, how many of you are feeling a little bit sheepish after moaning about Gareth Southgate’s four right-backs given you’ve now got your wicked way following Trent Alexander-Arnold’s injury?
The four has been whittled down to just three with the Liverpool full back’s Euro 2020 dreams left in tatters after picking up a late injury in the win over Austria.
Everyone’s got their own opinions over who England’s first choice right back should be, but even the most ardent Reece James fan would struggle not to sympathise with Alexander-Arnold right now.
The Liverpool man did brilliantly to work his way back into contention for a place in Southgate’s squad, only to have his maiden venture into a European Championship snatched away from him in the cruellest possible way.
But one man’s loss is another man’s gain and six standby squad members – previously seven prior to Mason Greenwood’s injury – will all be eagerly waiting to hear if they’re the one to replace the injured Alexander-Arnold.
With that in mind, 90min has ranked the options available to Southgate before picking out the best of the lot.
Let’s be honest, it’s not going to be Aaron Ramsdale but it felt a bit nasty to just leave him out entirely.
The Sheffield United man was always going to be the goalkeeper who missed out when Southgate named his final 26-man squad, and unless Sam Johnstone, Jordan Pickford or Dean Henderson get injured in the next few days he’s not going to be called up.
Not very insightful but there’s very little more to say on the matter.
You’d think that replacing a defender with a defender would seem the most sensible thing to do, but do England really need more backline reinforcements?
After all, Alexander-Arnold is classed as a defender purely for admin purposes more than anything, and with four centre backs already named in England’s final squad it seems highly unlikely that Ben White would be given any game time whatsoever at Euro 2020.
The Brighton man has done really well during his first season in the Premier League and his versatility could be a huge plus for England moving forward, but for now it really doesn’t make a lot of sense taking him to Euro 2020.
*Copy and paste from the Ben White section above*
Well, not entirely, but there’s very similar arguments to be made for Ben Godfrey.
The Everton man has looked really impressive at times for the Toffees this season, though he did have an absolute howler against Austria when handed his senior international debut on Wednesday night.
Again, his ability to cover a number of positions across the backline could be useful in the future, but for now he’ll have taken a lot from his time in the England set-up and he can continue his development with Everton and hopefully make his mark on the national team in the future.
Now centre forward is one position that Southgate could definitely do with adding to.
Naturally Harry Kane is a shoo-in for every game England play, but can we really trust those dodgy ankles after such a long season where he’s clearly been playing when not 100% fit at times?
If (god help us) the Tottenham man does pick up an injury, Dominic Calvert-Lewin is England’s only other option and it just doesn’t seem like enough.
It’s not that the Everton man isn’t a good option, but adding Ollie Watkins to the squad would at least give Southgate a bit of protection if one of his frontmen picked up a knock, and it would give him an extra option if England needed a goal late on.
Throughout this list we’ve been trying to think rationally and consider where England actually need strengthening when picking the replacement for Alexander-Arnold – that’s all gone out of the window here.
England don’t need another wide forward – they’ve got them coming out of their ears – but we just can’t ignore the fact Jesse Lingard should go to the Euros.
Is it his personality? Is it his footballing ability? Is it the fact he dresses and acts like a 15-year-old? We’re not sure, possibly all of the above, but how brilliant would it be?
In all seriousness though, the West Ham man has been superb since moving to the Hammers midway through the season and he really could have something to offer the England team.
Right, sensible hats back on. As much as our hearts say Lingard, our heads say James Ward-Prowse.
Not only could his ability from set pieces prove to be crucial this summer, he’s also got a superb engine and so can provide legs from the bench late on in games.
Similar to the centre forward department, England’s central midfield options are looking a little threadbare with Jordan Henderson still struggling for match fitness, so the addition of a man who’s had a great season at club level and could even be a great asset in penalty shootouts (yes, we’re already thinking about them) could be a good decision.