Euro 2020 Betting: The five best-priced outsiders to make Southgate's 23 this summer

Gareth Southgate, England manager
Southgate applauds another club start for Foden

Stephen Tudor picks out five possible wildcards and surprise selections who might yet find themselves national heroes against the odds.

"Should Gareth Southgate be visited by a genie before the season’s end surely one of his trio of wishes will be for the Stockport Iniesta to be granted more game-time at Manchester City."

In a little over three months from now England manager Gareth Southgate will announce his 23-man squad for this summer's Euros and with many of the places already pretty much nailed down much of the interest can be found on its periphery.

Who will be the surprise pick selected for his versatility? Who will be the uncapped wildcard promoted late in the day after completing an outstanding 2019/20? Will the waist-coated gaffer be true to his word and prioritize form over familiarity?

These questions and more will at least be partially answered next month when the Three Lions take on Italy and Denmark in back-to-back friendlies at Wembley, with Danny Ings and Dominic Calvert-Lewin two of a handful of in-form stars expected to be called up and auditioned.

These fixtures won't be definitive however and it can be conservatively estimated that five - maybe six - spots remain up for grabs with an abundance of league and cup football still affording players plenty of opportunities to put forward their claim.

With that in mind, even with generous odds attached to their chances the players below would be wise to put their holiday plans on hold for the time being.

Reece James

Frank Lampard's immediate investment in youth on taking charge at Chelsea may have seen Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham plunder the headlines but those in the know were waiting for the emergence of a highly promising young right-back whose development ceiling might yet be sky-high.

Just 20 first-team appearances later and we are all now fully on board with the hype with James' buccaneering down the Blues' right allying itself to an indomitable competitiveness defensively. He is just two months out of his teens yet looks like he's played there brilliantly all his life.

Southgate is extremely well stocked for right-backs and the safe money goes on Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kieran Trippier to be his favoured two with Kyle Walker also in the reckoning. Then there is Manchester United's Aaron Wan-Bissaka under consideration too.

Yet, like Lampard, the England boss has previously been fearless in promoting the kids and pertinently has form for taking uncapped players to a major tournament.

Ultimately, the case for James lies in the fact that he is a lengthy 5/1 to be selected yet is out-performing all of his rivals on a consistent basis.

Mason Holgate

Like it or not, every England squad needs a Phil Neville; an eighth choice defender who can plug all the defensive gaps, possessing the ability to play anywhere across the back. A capacity to hold the fort in midfield should injuries strike cannot be under-valued either.

Since Carlo Ancelotti's arrival on Merseyside the 23-year-old's form and confidence has rocketed, making it into WhoScored.com's January team of the month while a manager who certainly knows a thing or two about elite stoppers has made it very clear via his team selections that he views Holgate as his principle centre-back, over and above Michael Keane, another England candidate.

It may seem like damning with faint praise to be compared to the divisive Neville but less so when it's remembered that the former star was included in three consecutive Euro squads, largely due to his versatility. Holgate is 11/1 to make his first.

Adam Lallana

Adam-Lallana-1280-ucl.jpg

Lallana has not been part of the international scene now for just shy of two years while for Liverpool his opportunities have been limited to occasional cameos. All of that though might soon change.

With the Reds set to wrap up their first Premier League title in record time it is plausible to think that Jurgen Klopp will begin to utilize his squad more, especially if the Champions League is still a consideration and this should offer the midfielder lots of scope to remind one and all of his varied attributes.

Furthermore, he is precisely the kind of older figure Southgate will value having around the squad, setting the right examples while his versatility should not be dismissed either. In his 34 appearances for his country Lallana has been employed in six different roles.

The possible inclusion of the 32-year-old is a prime example of a paradox in betting. It feels very unlikely to happen yet 25/1 are odds that are far too good to pass up.

Phil Foden

Should Southgate be visited by a genie before the season's end surely one of his trio of wishes will be for the Stockport Iniesta to be granted more game-time at Manchester City.

Admittedly, England are well furnished with creativity in the shape of Jack Grealish, James Maddison and Mount but none can provide the full package like Foden whose teenage drive and eye for goal are crucial embellishments on his quick and intelligent link-up play. His fine showings for the Under 21s is testament to this and not for nothing has Pep Gaurdiola called him the 'most talented player' he has ever seen.

With City out of the title reckoning and a top four berth all-but-guaranteed we can surely expect the prodigious midfielder to feature more at club level and really it comes down to this simple equation: should Foden star in eight or more of City's remaining 13 games he has every chance of being a late wildcard inclusion for Southgate. The 7/2 may be value.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin

Though Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford are both expected to be fit in time for this summer's tournament their long lay-offs has naturally resulted in attention being diverted to England's third choice striker. Will it be the free-scoring Abraham? What about a heartening happy ending to Danny Ings' cruel injury hell?

Between them the pair have 27 Premier League goals this term but while he pales to them in prolificacy Calvert-Lewin has been quietly building a reputation at Goodison Park as the archetypal target-man, selflessly leading the line and allowing those around him to flourish.

With Raheem Sterling and Jaden Sancho both key to England's hopes this makes him a viable option for Southgate and again we return to the wisdom of Ancelotti. "He has the quality and possibility to be a great striker in England and for England," the veteran coach said recently.

Calvert-Lewin is 7/2 to make the final 23.

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