90min

What Team GB's Men's Football Squad Could Have Been at Tokyo Olympics

Robbie Walls
Derby County v Manchester United - FA Cup Fifth Round
Derby County v Manchester United - FA Cup Fifth Round / James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images
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While London 2012 was a masterpiece for British sport, it also enabled Britain to line up its first Men's football team since 1964 - albeit GB still has three Gold medals in its history in football (the joint highest).

Britain will once again not be entering a men's side after disagreements among the differing FA's, as well as the fact that England's Under-21s performed so poorly at last summer's European Championships.

With the Tokyo Olympics having been moved to 2021, let's imagine that Britain are preparing to line up next summer and what the assembled side could look like..

NB: - The tournament is for Under-23 players, so they must have been born on 1 Jan 1997 or after (this continues to apply for next summer, so players may be 24 as of the Olympics)
- Each nation may select 3 over 23 players as part of their 18-man squad.

Goalkeepers

Sheffield United v Norwich City - Premier League
Sheffield United v Norwich City - Premier League / Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Dean Henderson (ENG): The Sheffield United man would be the undoubted star between the sticks for GB after a stellar first season in the Premier League. He will be hoping to either displace David De Gea at parent club Manchester United or remain at Bramall Lane for a third season.

Conor Hazard (NIR): The less well-known stopper had been in impressive form at Dundee, on loan from Celtic, before the season was ended due to coronavirus and would provide an able backup to Henderson. Sadly not related to Eden, no.


Full Backs

Tottenham Hotspur v Norwich City - FA Cup Fifth Round
Tottenham Hotspur v Norwich City - FA Cup Fifth Round / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Trent Alexander-Arnold (ENG): The Liverpool youngster is still only 21 years old, yet has slotted seamlessly into life in the Premier League and would take the right-back berth in this side. He already has 25 league assists in just 84 games.

Jamal Lewis (NIR): The Norwich left-back has been capturing the eye of many since helping the Canaries into the top-flight, and will offer some zip down the left flank.

Aaron Hickey (SCO): The versatile Hearts defender is able to play on either side of the backline, and has already made a number of first-team appearances despite being just 17.


Centre Backs

Swansea City v West Bromwich Albion - Sky Bet Championship
Swansea City v West Bromwich Albion - Sky Bet Championship / Athena Pictures/Getty Images

Joe Gomez (ENG): Another who is still remarkably so young, the gifted defender was snapped up by Liverpool for a fee of just £3.5m. He's now almost certain to be a Premier League winner.

Joe Rodon (WAL): Another Joe to line up alongside him, the Swansea man has made great strides this season - and has been linked with a move to Manchester United, as well as settling into life as a Wales international.

Jonny Evans (NIR - over 23): The first of our over-23 selection, the former Manchester United man would provide some much needed experience to this young side. He's been imperious this season as his Leicester side go in search of Champions League football.


Central Midfielders

Chelsea FC v Everton FC - Premier League
Chelsea FC v Everton FC - Premier League / James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Ethan Ampadu (WAL): The young Welshman is currently out on-loan at RB Leipzig and has impressed when given an opportunity in a fiercely competitive and talented side. Shame he cut his hair though.

Billy Gilmour (SCO): Ampadu's Chelsea teammate Gilmour has burst onto the scene this season, most notably dominating in the FA Cup victory over league leaders Liverpool.


Attacking Midfielders

England v United States - International Friendly
England v United States - International Friendly / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Wayne Rooney (ENG - over 23): While he may retired from England duty, the Derby County midfielder would surely jump at the chance to lead this young side. He may be 34, but he certainly hasn't lost his touch, and can drop into a deeper quarterback role if required.

David Brooks (WAL): The Bournemouth man has been cruelly impeded by injury so far this season, yet has shown enough in his brief time in England's top flight to be considered a genuine star in the making.


Left Midfielders

Southampton FC v Manchester United - Premier League
Southampton FC v Manchester United - Premier League / Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Daniel James (WAL): Not that this side will be short of speed, but James offers it in abundance. While he has perhaps struggled to continue his bright early form at Old Trafford, he has relished being a first-team regular in his first season in the top tier.

Rabbi Matondo (WAL): The Schalke wide-man can play on either side and is another that offers genuinely frightening pace on the flanks. Don't be surprised to see him leaving Germany if he continues to impress.


Right Midfielders

England v Montenegro - UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier
England v Montenegro - UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier / Michael Regan/Getty Images

Jadon Sancho (ENG): While he may already be a world renowned star, the former Manchester City man is still only just 20 years old. The winger would be the undoubted star attraction of this squad.

Harry Wilson (WAL): The Bournemouth winger, on loan from Liverpool, has been in impressive form at the Vitality Stadium this season off the back of a stellar season under Frank Lampard at Derby last year. Will definitely be taking on free-kick duty.


Strikers

FBL-ENG-PR-MAN UTD-NORWICH
FBL-ENG-PR-MAN UTD-NORWICH / OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Marcus Rashford (ENG): The United forward as been a bright spark at Old Trafford amid the doom and gloom of the last few seasons, and is seemingly only going to get better.

Oli McBurnie (SCO - over 23): The final addition to this side not only loves a bucket hat, but he knows where the goal is. In an era of poor Scottish attacking options, perhaps there is too much pressure on him to deliver at international level.


Manager

The Cheltenham Festival 2020 - Day Two
The Cheltenham Festival 2020 - Day Two / Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Harry Redknapp: While 'arry will probably be calling time on his managerial career soon, the former Spurs gaffer would deserve a crack at leading out GB after being unfairly snubbed of taking charge a decade or so ago.

Potential Staring XI:

4-2-3-1: Henderson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Evans, Lewis; Ampadu, Gilmour; Sancho, Rooney, James; Rashford


Before you go, here's a reminder of the GB' men's team from 2012.

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