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Euros: What are England’s goalkeeping options?

The build up to the Euros is gathering pace and one of the areas Gareth Southgate will be giving some real thought to, is which goalkeepers to select in his final 23-man squad.

Jordan Pickford has long been Southgate’s first-choice option between the posts, but could someone else push their cause and persuade the head coach to change his plans?

In this article, we look at the goalkeeping options available to the England boss and which three shot-stoppers might get the nod.

Pickford still in the box seat

Since making his senior international debut in 2017, Pickford has become England’s number one and has racked up 58 appearances for his country.

Even when the Everton man has suffered a dip in his club form, Southgate has stuck by him and maintained that he is his first choice.

Pickford’s big game experience is another factor in his favour, with the 29-year-old having now played in three major tournaments – two World Cups and one Euros.

The former Sunderland shot-stopper has over 250 Premier League appearances to his name and, barring any injury issues, seems almost certain to start England’s opening group match against Serbia on 16th June.

The only factor, other than fitness, that could impact on Pickford’s position is whether Everton are relegated and if Southgate feels that would impact his confidence.

Injury issues hamper back-up duo

If everyone was fit, then Nick Pope and Dean Henderson would feel they would have a big chance to be the two other goalkeepers named in the Euros squad.

Both though have been hampered by injuries and are by no means certainties to be on the plane to Germany in the summer.

Newcastle’s Pope has been sidelined since early December with a shoulder problem, picked up in the clash with Manchester United at St James’ Park.

The 31-year-old, who has 10 caps to his name, is not expected to return to action until April – giving him just two months to prove his fitness to Southgate.

Injuries have also been a problem for Crystal Palace keeper Henderson, who missed two months at the end of 2023 due to a thigh injury.

The former Manchester United man has now seemingly established himself as the Eagles first-choice, but – at the time of writing – has just one Premier League clean sheet to his name in a Palace shirt.

Henderson, who has played for England at U17, U20 and U21 level, has claimed one senior cap to date and his place in the Euros squad looks in danger.

Ramsdale could miss out

Having enjoyed a stellar season with Arsenal in the 2022-23 campaign, Aaron Ramsdale was included in the squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

At that stage, many were predicting that he would be the man to push Pickford for the role of first-choice when it came to the Euros in 2024.

But Mikel Arteta’s decision to bring in another goalkeeper looks to have hampered his international hopes, with the 25-year-old struggling for game time.

David Raya now looks to be Arsenal’s first choice and Ramsdale has had to play a bit-part role, with most of his opportunities coming in cup competitions.

The former Sheffield United goalkeeper may need to win his club place back in order to be part of the England squad – 7/2 to win the tournament - this summer.

Outsiders staking a claim

With Southgate unlikely to dip into the Championship, his two other potential goalkeeping options seem to be Sam Johnstone and James Trafford.

Johnstone, who was in Southgate’s squad for Euro 2020, has lost his place in the Palace team to Dean Henderson.

Unless he can overhaul his club colleague over the coming months, it seems highly unlikely that the 30-year-old will make the 23-man party.

Despite not having won a senior cap yet, a more likely selection at this stage is James Trafford, who has established himself at Burnley.

Having come through the ranks at Manchester City, Trafford – currently 12/1 to be named in the squad - shone whilst on loan with Bolton and helped the England U21’s win the 2023 European Championship.

Burnley have leaked goals on their Premier League return, but the 21-year-old has been praised for his individual displays.

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