England World Cup Squad 2022: These are the players on the plane to Qatar

These are the 26 players selected by Gareth Southgate to represent England at the World Cup in Qatar

By James Descombes Published: 10 November 2022 - 3.00pm

It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming… football’s coming home!

After months of speculation about who was going to board the plane to Qatar, Gareth Southgate has announced his final 26-man squad for the tournament.

These are the players charged with leading England to World Cup glory. 

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England's World Cup Squad

Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford (Everton) Nick Pope (Newcastle), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal).

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Conor Coady (on loan at Everton from Wolves), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), Kyle Walker (Manchester City) Ben White (Arsenal).

Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City), Declan Rice (West Ham), James Maddison (Leicester City), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea)

Forwards: Marcus Rashford (Man United), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Chelsea), Callum Wilson (Newcastle).

Goalkeepers

Jordan Pickford saving a shot during England training

Jordan Pickford – Everton

The Everton stopper has been England’s established number one since the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

He played a key part in the Toffees' Premier League survival last season and is part of a solid Everton defence this season alongside centre-backs Conor Coady and James Tarkowski.

Aaron Ramsdale – Arsenal

Ramsdale has made some stunning saves during his time as Arsenal’s number one, including a full-stetch stop from a James Maddison freekick against Leicester last season.

This season he’s helped Arsenal top the table heading into the World Cup as part of the league’s strongest defence.

Nick Pope – Newcastle United

Going into the final round of Premier League fixtures before the World Cup, Newcastle have the joint-first best defensive record alongside Arsenal.

That’s in part due to goalkeeper Nick Pope, signed from Burnley in the summer, he’s helped reinvent Newcastle’s defence. 

Defenders

luke shaw celebrates against Italy

Kieran Trippier – Newcastle United

Only Kevin De Bruyne (45) and Andreas Pereira (34) have created more chances for teammates in the Premier League this season than Newcastle's Kieran Trippier (32).

What’s more, the right-back is part of one of the best defences in the Premier League.

Tripps' freekick against Croatia in the last World Cup almost led the Three Lions to the final in Russia.

Kyle Walker – Man City

Man City right-back Kyle Walker has been a fixture in the England team since his Spurs’ days and has 70 England caps to his name.

But the pacy full-back looked set to miss out after requiring surgery on a groin injury picked up in City’s 6-3 win over Man United in October.

It was a close call, but Walker makes it into the squad and offers the Three Lions some much-needed pace at the back. 

Harry Maguire – Manchester United

He’s faced his critics this season, but Manchester United’s Harry Maguire has always found a place in Gareth Southgate’s side.

The England manager relies on the £80m centre-back, who was an integral part of England’s last World Cup and Euro campaigns.

John Stones – Manchester City

Alongside Harry Maguire, John Stones is an integral part of Gareth Southgate’s side.

The Man City centre-back played in every match in last year’s Euros as England lost to Italy on penalties in the final at Wembley.

Stones has been out with a hamstring injury picked up in England’s 3-3 draw with Germany in September, but has been back in Pep’s side since the end of October.

Conor Coady – Everton

Conor Coady’s defensive game has improved since joining Everton on loan in the summer.

He’s formed a solid partnership with fellow Englishman James Tarkowski and manager Frank Lampard has commented on the qualities the defender brings to his side in terms of character and leadership.

Eric Dier – Tottenham Hotspur

After falling out of favour with the national side after a poor season, Eric Dier earned a recall from Gareth Southgate for the recent Nations League fixtures after impressive performances at the heart of Spurs defence under Antonio Conte.

Dier is a good option when playing a back three, which he often does for Spurs. His long-range passing from the back could prove useful.

Luke Shaw – Manchester United

With Ben Chilwell out injured with a hamstring injury, Luke Shaw is likely to be Southgate’s number one choice at left-back.

Shaw scored England’s goal in the Euro 2020 Final against Italy, but it wasn’t enough to secure the trophy with Italy fighting back and winning on penalties.

However, his performances did ensure he took the left-back spot in the team of the tournament.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – Liverpool

With Reece James suffering an injury that ruled him out of Southgate’s 26-man squad, Trent Alexander-Arnold found a way in.

He’s been criticised for his defensive work this season and Southgate has previously preferred the Chelsea defender, but you can’t deny Alexander-Arnold’s ability going forward and from set-pieces. 

Ben White – Arsenal

Ben White gives Gareth Southgate options at the back. The 25-year-old can play at centre back or at right-back, making him a good option if England play with a back four or three in the middle of defence.

His defensive abilities have helped Arsenal keep the tightest defence in the Premier League this season. 

Midfielders

Declan Rice playing for England

Jude Bellingham – Bosrussia Dortmund

This season Jude Bellingham became the youngest Englishman to captain a side in the Champions League at just 19 years and 98 days old.

He also became the first teenage midfielder to score in four consecutive matches in the competition. England fans will be hoping he can do it on the international stage too.

Mason Mount – Chelsea

The Chelsea midfielder is another player that Southgate places a lot of trust in.

He started in the Euros Final last year, as well as the Semi-final and Quarter-final.

Competition for his position in the team is fierce, with Phil Foden and Bukayo Saka sometimes preferred, but Mount’s ability to score and assist means he’s always a useful player to be able to call upon.

Declan Rice – West Ham

Declan Rice is one of the first names on the team sheet.

At the Euros he played a pivotal role alongside Kalvin Phillips in the centre of midfield.

A long-term injury to Phillips hasn’t affected Rice’s form and he still plays an important role in protecting the backline, breaking up play and moving the ball to England’s forward players.

Kalvin Phillips – Man City

Kalvin Phillips is the big surprise in the squad. Having suffered a shoulder injury in September, Phillips has hardly played for Man City since signing from Leeds in the summer. He made his debut for the club in August and came off the subs bench in the League Cup on 9th November.

But the lack of football hasn’t stopped him from making the squad. Southgate trusts him, and his partnership with Declan Rice was vital for England in the Euros. 

Jordan Henderson – Liverpool

The Liverpool midfielder has made most of his club appearances off the bench this season and it’s likely to be the same story for England.

When looking to close out matches, Henderson brings experience, leadership and defensive know-how into the side, which could be vital in the later stages of the tournament. 

James Maddison – Leicester City

The Leicester midfielder has found form at just the right time. England fans have been calling for the 25-year-old to be included to give the Three Lions an added creative dimension.

With 13 goals and nine assists, Maddison has been involved in more Premier League goals than any other English midfielder in 2022. Only Harry Kane (33), Kevin De Bruyne (29) and Son Heung-min (25) have been involved in more this calendar year.

Conor Gallagher – Chelsea

Conor Gallagher impressed last season on loan at Crystal Palace, scoring eight goals in 36 appearances and scooping the club’s Player of the Season award. He made his debut in England’s 10-0 win over San Marino in November 2021.

After falling out of favour under Thomas Tuchel, new boss Graham Potter has given him a new lease of life at Chelsea. 

Forwards

Harry Kane celebrating a goal for England with Jack Grealish, Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham

Harry Kane – Tottenham Hotspur

England’s captain goes into this tournament needing just three more goals to beat Wayne Rooney’s goalscoring record of 53 goals for his country.

Kane won the Golden Boot at the World Cup in 2018 and added another four at last year’s Euros. Can he get the Golden Boot again?

Callum Wilson – Newcastle

Callum Wilson is a striker in good form at the right time, with six goals this season and three in his last three.

His goals have helped propel Newcastle into the Champions League places entering the World Cup break.

The ex-Bournemouth striker has always scored goals in the Premier League, but injuries have often slowed down his progress. Now he's fit, he's found a way into Southgate's squad. 

Bukayo Saka – Arsenal

Since suffering vile abuse after missing a penalty in the shootout with Italy in the Euros Final, Saka has played a pivotal role in Arsenal’s table-topping form this season.

He has 10 goals in his last 10 Premier League games (4 goals, 6 assists).

Marcus Rashford – Manchester United

Rashford’s season has been stop-start with injuries hampering his progress, but a recent return to Erik Ten Hag’s side has given Southgate glimpses of what he’s capable of.

Pace up front is a valuable asset to have in the squad and Rashford is likely to get opportunities to run at tired legs.

Raheem Sterling – Chelsea

Sterling was one of the country’s best players at the Euros.

He’s since moved from Manchester City to Chelsea, where he’s contributed with goals and assists. He’s likely to play from the start and form a partnership with Harry Kane. 

Phil Foden – Man City

Like at City, Foden’s place in the team isn’t always guaranteed, but when he’s at his best Foden is one of England’s finiest technicians, with the ability to open up defences with his passing and dribbling skills.

Jack Grealish – Man City

Like Foden, Grealish doesn’t always make the starting 11. But whether he gets the nod from the start or comes off the bench, his ability to take on players, draw fouls and assist Harry Kane is vital.

There was a real clamour for Grealish to start for England at the last tournament. That’s died down a bit since his move to Man City, but he still has the talent to excite and get bums off seats.

England’s group stage fixtures

England vs Iran: 1pm, Monday 21 November (Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan)

England vs United States: 7pm, Friday 25 November (Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor)

Wales vs England: 7pm, Tuesday 29 November (Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan)