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Gareth Southgate explains 'complicated' England Euro 2020 squad selection

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Southgate has several tough choices to make
Southgate has several tough choices to make / Robin Jones/Getty Images

Gareth Southgate has said that England's Euro 2020 squad selection is 'more complicated than any other country', while also suggesting that Trent Alexander-Arnold could play in midfield in the future.

Southgate was speaking after naming a 33-man provisional squad for the tournament. Seven players will end up missing out in the summer and there are already several notable absentees. Fikayo Tomori, who has impressed on loan at Milan this season, was left out of the training squad, along with England regular Eric Dier and Leicester City's James Maddison.

Competition for places remains high and with key players sweating over their fitness and those who represent the Manchester clubs and Chelsea still to play a European final, Southgate admitted that the situation was a tricky one to handle.

"There are 12 players still to play so we're always going to need additional players and added to that we have some injuries at different stages, that we have very little info about," he said.

"We felt more time will help us make better decisions. Our preference was to name the 26, but we have not got an ideal hand of cards - a lot of unknowns. Info and evidence are very important and we will have a lot more in the next seven days."

Harry Maguire
Southgate did not give an update of the fitness of Harry Maguire / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

One of the most competitive positions is right-back with four being named in the training squad in total: Kieran Tripper, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kyle Walker and Reece James.

When questioned about whether one of these players would miss out on the final squad, Southgate said: "Well, I could easily get drawn into talking about any number of individuals that might be in the 26 and then I am going to get myself in a mess.

"I just see four good footballers. Tripper can play right-back or left-back, Trent can play right-back, wing-back and I think he can play in midfield. In the last few days I have seen Reece James play in the right of a back three and in the middle of midfield.

Gareth Southgate
Southgate had a good tournament last time out, taking England to the World Cup semi-finals / Clive Rose/Getty Images

"We are going into a tournament and those sorts of players who can fulfil different roles but are good footballers are going be hugely important. We really don't know how the next few weeks are going to play out in terms of availability, injuries and what are best systems will be with the players we have available. We've got too many questions marks as I sit here today but that will all become far clearer - we know what we'd like to do."