Express & Star

Aston Villa duo named in England's provisional squad for Euro 2024

Aston Villa duo Ezri Konsa and Ollie Watkins have been named in Gareth Southgate's provisional England squad for Euro 2024.


Watkins has been rewarded for his 19 goal campaign - with Konsa is also named after an impressive season as Villa qualified for the Champions League.

Among the headlines from the announce were Marcus Rashford and Jordan Henderson, who have both been left out.

With 26 days to go until their group opener against Serbia, the national team boss has named a 33-strong training squad that has to be cut to a maximum of 26 players by June 7.

Rashford - who has been to the last four major tournaments - and vice-captain Henderson - a veteran of six tournaments - are the most high-profile omissions.

The former has struggled for form at Manchester United this season, with the latter joining Ajax in January having made a controversial move to Saudi side Al-Ettifaq last summer.

Raheem Sterling's absence from the long list is less surprising, with Chelsea team-mates Ben Chilwell, Reece James and Levi Colwill also omitted.

Luke Shaw has been included despite being laid low since February, with Harry Kane, Harry Maguire, Anthony Gordon and Bukayo Saka also selected despite recent injury concerns.

The training group includes a number of uncapped players. Liverpool youngsters Curtis Jones and Jarell Quansah have been included for the first time, while there is a first call-up for Adam Wharton.

The Crystal Palace midfielder is joined in the squad by team-mates Eberechi Eze, Marc Guehi and Dean Henderson.

Uncapped Jarrad Branthwaite and James Trafford have both been included after taking part in the senior camp for the first time in March.

Kobbie Mainoo, 19, is the youngest member of the squad having impressed on his maiden call-up in March. Ivan Toney and Ollie Watkins have both been included on the long list.

Southgate said: "These are difficult calls, you are talking about players who are very good players who have been an important part of what we have done.

"With Marcus, I feel players in the same area of the pitch have had better seasons, it's as simple as that.

"Hendo has given himself every chance, the determining factor is the injury he picked up in the last camp, he missed five weeks and he just hasn't been able to get to the intensity in the games since then.

"He is a fantastic professional and it was a difficult call to make."

Southgate said Shaw is a "long shot" to make the tournament in Germany.

"He is up against it, he has missed a lot of football," the boss said.

"Because he has been our first-choice left-back we are giving him more time. I am not sure what is realistic at this moment in time.

"I have talked with him and the medical staff and I have liaised with Manchester United very closely. I have to say he is a long shot."

Southgate says there is a "significant number" of players carrying an injury, which will affect the make-up of the final squad.

"There are a significant number injured, that will be apparent looking at the players who have missed the last few games of the season and some who are coming back for the last few games of the season," the boss said.

"Some players are going to need more work, other players don't need much at all and need refreshing. We have never had so many unknowns. The key is making the best possible decisions."

There was no room for Eric Dier, despite some impressive form for Bayern Munich since his January move from Tottenham.

"He has played very well for Bayern and I know they are very happy with him," Southgate said.

"We think he is just behind the other players. He has played well in some big Champions League matches. But we have assessed people across the board."

Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson (Crystal Palace), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal), James Trafford (Burnley).

Defenders: Jarrad Branthwaite (Everton), Lewis Dunk (Brighton), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Ezri Konsa (Aston Villa), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Jarell Quansah (Liverpool), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), Kyle Walker (Manchester City)

Midfielders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Curtis Jones (Liverpool), Kobbie Mainoo (Manchester United), Declan Rice (Arsenal), Adam Wharton (Crystal Palace).

Forwards: Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid), Jarrod Bowen (West Ham), Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Anthony Gordon (Newcastle), Harry Kane (Bayern Munich), James Maddison (Tottenham), Cole Palmer (Chelsea), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Ivan Toney (Brentford), Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa).