Connect with us


Southgate eyes uncapped replacements for struggling Phillips – but are they good enough?

England manager Gareth Southgate has a few uncapped stars on his radar as he looks to prepare his squad for the upcoming European Championship. 

According to the Daily Mail, Southgate wants to replace off-form Kalvin Phillips and has his eye on Everton’s James Garner, Fulham’s Harrison Reed and West Ham United’s James Ward-Prowse.

Manchester United teenage midfielder Kobbie Mainoo is also being watched, but he is more likely to be called up to the England Under-21 squad.

The England senior squad have friendlies against Belgium and Brazil lined up for next month, and several Premier League stars could use it as an opportunity to stake their claim.

Phillips, a regular in the England team, could lose his shirt after a miserable start to life at West Ham that has seen him give away a cheap goal and get sent off in three appearances.

After impressing for United over the past few weeks, Mainoo has garnered attention, and his performances have fuelled talk of a call-up for Euro 2024.

However, Mainoo still hasn’t decided whether to pledge his international allegiance to England or Ghana.

Given he is still a teenager, it may be too early for Southgate to throw the youngster in at the deep end.

However, quite why Southgate would consider selecting Garner or Reed is baffling. 

While they are impressive midfielders in their own rights, the England boss needs to aim higher for his squad, considering the talent pool he has to choose from.

Neither Garner nor Reed has any senior international experience. While Garner has been in decent form for Everton this term, he’s still finding his feet in the Premier League. 

Reed hasn’t made a massive impact in the Premier League, particularly when you compare to the likes of Ward-Prowse or Conor Gallagher.

These players have more experience and arguably higher ceilings, making Southgate’s reported interest in Garner and Reed even more puzzling.

Southgate’s preference for these underwhelming options over more talented players echoes past decisions that have frustrated fans.

Examples include his reluctance to integrate in-form players like Fikayo Tomori or James Maddison earlier or his continued faith in underperforming veterans.

With Euro 2024 on the horizon, Southgate needs to make bold decisions. Targeting underqualified players like Garner and Reed undermines expectations. 

The former Middlesbrough manager needs to make more decisions that inspire confidence and not raise eyebrows.

And if new Crystal Palace signing Adam Wharton is not on his radar, questions really do need to be asked about Southgate’s eye for a player.

More in England