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08th Jun 2024

Graeme Souness claims Gareth Southgate hasn’t picked ‘England’s best goalkeeper’ for Euro 2024

Callum Boyle

England

‘For me, there is another goalkeeper who should be going to the tournament’

Graeme Souness has claimed that whilst England have the strongest squad they’ve ever had going into a major tournament, they are without their best goalkeeper.

Gareth Southgate named his final 26-man squad for Euro 2024, opting to leave the likes of James Maddison, Jack Grealish, Harry Maguire and Jarrad Branthwaite out of the group heading to Germany.

Goalkeeper James Trafford also didn’t feature as Southgate went with his undisputed number one Jordan Pickford along with Aaron Ramsdale and Dean Henderson as back-up options.

However Souness has questioned the decision not to take Jack Butland – whom he believes is England’s best goalkeeper.

Butland has come fresh off the back of a debut campaign for Rangers last summer but hasn’t featured for the national team since 2018. Despite this, Souness felt he deserved the opportunity.

“I believe this is the strongest England squad I have seen going into a top tournament,” Souness wrote in his MailOnline column.

“Yes, there are a few frailties in defence, particularly if Luke Shaw falls over, but generally it’s a fantastic squad and a common sense selection.

“Gareth has also been very loyal to Jordan Pickford, which I can understand, but, for me, there is another goalkeeper who should be going to the tournament. I’ve watched Jack Butland several times playing for Rangers this season and he is the best English goalkeeper around. I’m surprised he hasn’t earned a place.”

Souness pleased for debutant call-ups

While Souness was critical of Butland’s absence, the former Liverpool man was positive about England’s chances going into the tournament.

He added: “England’s real strength is in their firepower.

“Gareth is blessed in the forward positions but I just sense Palmer, if he can replicate his Chelsea form, will give a performance, maybe from the bench, that will make it very difficult to leave him out. I believe it came down to a straight choice between Palmer and Maddison and he has gone for the in-form player.

“There are only seven games including the final so this is not for players scratching for form. That’s seven games to hit the ground running but the strength in this squad makes me believe England are favourites to win it.”

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