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Euros: What are England's attacking options?

England look likely to play their final qualifier of the decade in November, with co-hosting duties for the 2028 tournament all but secured.

Their place in Germany 2024 is also almost confirmed and Gareth Southgate's side will head to next summer’s tournament among the favourites.

That's largely down to some fantastic options in the final third, which gives Southgate some headaches over who will make the starting XI.

Kane set to lead the line

Harry Kane is set for his fifth international tournament and third turn at the Euros. The Three Lions' all-time leading scorer remains one of the world's best forwards and he'll be key to their hopes of going all the way.

A year in Germany ahead of the finals might even give Kane a slight advantage heading into the Euros. His switch to Bayern Munich should also bring the first silverware of his career ahead of the tournament.

Kane had a quiet World Cup by his standards last year, scoring twice after taking home the Golden Boot at Russia 2018. However, he’s hit eight goals across his first six Bundesliga games for Bayern so there’s no doubt about his ability to make an impact at the highest level. 

Queue of second-choice options

So far, there's no emerging talent pushing Kane for his place in the side. The October international break saw Southgate select Ollie Watkins and Eddie Nketiah as the backups behind Kane.

However, the race to make the Euro 2024 squad looks set to be competitive. Callum Wilson has matched Watkins' four Premier League goals so far, while he made two appearances at the 2022 World Cup.

Wilson would likely be a lock for the squad if it wasn't for his fitness issues. Dominic Calvert-Lewin is in a similar position, but he’s returned to the Everton side looking dangerous in recent weeks.

Another contender to make the plane is Ivan Toney, who is out until January. Outside of Kane, Toney is probably England's best finisher and the forward should return with a point to prove. He missed the World Cup despite a great start to last season but a rumoured January move to Arsenal or Chelsea could propel him into the picture.

Wide-men to provide key threat

Southgate has tended to prefer a 4-3-3 in competitive games with England, which puts a huge emphasis on the wingers to get into goalscoring positions. That was clear in Qatar, where Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford both outscored Kane with three goals apiece.

Saka's great form for Arsenal and England makes him the standout option on the right wing. 

Rashford will be in the race to start on the left, although he started just one of England’s first five qualifiers.

Rashford kicked on for Man United off the back of his great showing in Qatar so his spot on the plane looks secure. However, he's already under competition for his spot with James Maddison impressing for Tottenham.

Maddison is a tough player to fit in Southgate's side, as the England boss rarely uses his preferred number 10 role. Even if the Three Lions switched to a 4-2-3-1, Jude Bellingham's displays for Real Madrid would likely see him pushed forward into that spot.

Southgate has pushed Maddison into the left-wing spot, starting him there in three of the first five qualifiers. After his great form with Spurs, he could make that place his own.

Who could make a late charge?

England have plenty more attacking options who could prove vital off the bench. Few players have proved as reliable for Southgate as Raheem Sterling and the Chelsea winger looks determined to bounce back from a poor 2022/23 campaign.

Sterling hasn't played for England since the World Cup but he's a proven scoring threat from out wide. He's battling with former teammates Jack Grealish and Phil Foden, among others, for a place in the squad.

Southgate's comments about Foden not being able to play centrally suggest he sees the Man City man as a winger for the short term at least. 

Jarrod Bowen is a player who has forced his way into the setup. His great start to the season off the back of scoring the winner in the Europa Conference League final has put him into Southgate’s plans.

England have plenty of options who can flank Kane at next summer's Euros. That competition for places was key during the World Cup, while Southgate does tend to pick wingers to edge tactical battles.

The Three Lions do need to hope Kane makes it through his first Bundesliga season unscathed, as there's no other player in the squad who can do what he can do, regardless of the quality support out wide. 

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