England squad announcement: Gareth Southgate fails to pick on form as Harry Maguire called up

With every England squad announcement comes disappointment.

Gareth Southgate has named his 25-man squad ahead of England’s friendlies with Switzerland and Ivory Coast in the coming weeks.

There was a lot of talk around potential inclusions and omissions ahead of the announcement, with a number of fresh faces shining this season, while the usual old reliable figures have struggled.

We were expecting a new-look squad compared to that which reached the Euro 2020 final, however Southgate clearly wasn’t keen on taking the risk when it came to the defence.

Harry Maguire has become a staple in the Three Lions’ backline, however his terrible form for Manchester United raised the question as to whether he should be included in the squad.

I wasn’t very surprised to see that Southgate had included Maguire, however that didn’t mean I wasn’t hugely disappointed.

The centre-back has easily been one of the worst-performing defenders in the Premier League this season and it is insulting to a number of players that was picked over them.

It is great to see Marc Guehi included, however the likes of Fikayo Tomori and Max Kilman would have something to say about their omission - especially given Tyrone Mings’ consistent inclusion in the squad despite also being one of our worst centre-backs.

What makes it even worse is that Maguire will still probably one of the first names on the team sheet for England - it makes you wonder what on earth he has to do to be dropped by Southgate.

Don’t get me wrong - he is nowhere near as bad for England as he is for United, but I’m a firm believer that the Three Lions squad should be picked on league form rather than their experience with the national team.

Surprisingly, Maguire’s inclusion is my only major complaint about the squad selection.

Conor Gallagher’s call up is definitely merited and it remains unclear whether Jarrod Bowen would have got a well deserved phone call if he wasn’t currently injured.

James Ward-Prowse is another promising addition to the squad and arguably should have gone to the Euros purely because of his exceptional free-kicks.

There was also the argument for Jadon Sancho to be included, and I think he probably would have been had he kept this form up all season - but there is still plenty of opportunity for the winger to impress before the World Cup this winter.

Similarly, the likes of Kyle Walker-Peters, Jacob Ramsey and Michael Olise had a good shout at being included, but the issue was who to drop for them and, like Sancho, they can still earn themselves a place in that World Cup squad before November.

Of course, these upcoming matches are only friendlies and I would like to think Southgate will give some of the new boys a chance to shine and not stick with the same old boring starting line-up that we are used to.

Southgate needs to learn his best team before they jet off to Qatar, so taking a few risks at this stage wouldn’t have been a bad idea.