The world of football has lost its collective mind since the announcement regarding the European Super League.
At this stage, 12 clubs have seemingly committed to the creation of a breakaway league designed to enhance the bank balances of the continent’s biggest clubs… and Spurs.
Various authorities are threatening severe action in response with some suggestions that players representing the clubs involved will be banned from other competitions, including World Cups and European Championships.
Gareth Southgate and his peers can rest easy for now as it’s thought no players will be banned from participating in this summer’s tournament – though nothing is set in stone during this chaotic period.
To distract ourselves from the potential death of football as we know it, let’s use Dream Team stats to assemble the best possible England XI using players outside of the Super League realm.
We have also adhered to some other restrictions.
We not allowing players expected to miss the Euros through injury, such as James Justin (£3.8m) and Harvey Barnes (£2.9m).
We need a realistic formation and balance.
And since we’re using Dream Team stats, we can’t include Borussia Dortmund duo Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham.
GOALKEEPER: Nick Pope (£2.9m) – 95 points
We start with perhaps the only player who is likely to start at Euro 2020 (2021) regardless of the situation.
Although it depends whether Burnley’s No1 has permanently displaced Jordan Pickford (£2.0m)…
RIGHT-BACK: Matty Cash (£2.6m) – 84 points
Southgate has tried a whole host of right-backs recently but they all attached to the money-chasing clubs we’ve vetoed in this exercise.
The ironically-named Cash is the first of FIVE Aston Villa players to make the cut.
CENTRE-BACK: Michael Keane (£2.5m) – 96 points
Many believe centre-back is where England are weakest ahead of this summer’s tournament and with John Stones (£5.1m) and Harry Maguire (£5.3m) hypothetically banned, we’re forced to turn to Everton’s No5, who has 12 caps to his name in reality.
CENTRE-BACK: Tyrone Mings (£2.6m) – 102 points
Villa’s physically-imposing defender will probably be a back-up option for Southgate this summer but he’s earned a starting spot here.
LEFT-BACK: Matt Targett (£2.2m) – 88 points
Dean Smith’s left-back has plenty of experience for England’s youth sides but is yet to be capped at senior level.
MIDFIELDER: James Ward-Prowse (£3.1m) – 117 points
Southampton’s set-piece specialist has featured in recent England squads and has enjoyed spells of Dream Team success in what has been the best season of his career in terms of goal output.
MIDFIELDER: James Maddison (£4.0m) – 129 points
Such is the depth of options available to the Three Lions in the more advanced positions, Leicester’s creative playmaker may miss out on the Euros in reality despite contributing to 17 goals in all competitions this season.
MIDFIELDER: Jack Grealish (£4.5m) – 124 points
This exercise allows to select Grealish without hesitation, something many England fans are hoping Southgate will do even if the Super League players are eligible.
Granted, our midfield balance isn’t quite right with Maddison and Grealish in front of Ward-Prowse but all three were worthy of spots when looking at the data.
FORWARD/WINGER: Ollie Watkins (£3.6m) – 138 points
It’s important to remember that the 25-year-old was a very effective right winger at Brentford before he started playing through the middle.
This detail allowed us to pick Villa’s top scorer this season as one of the wide forwards here.
FORWARD: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£4.0m) – 180 points
19 goals in all competitions for the man who will fill in for Harry Kane (£7.0m) if the England captain is unable to feature this summer, for whatever reason.
FORWARD/WINGER: Jack Harrison (£3.0m) – 96 points
Patrick Bamford (£3.7m) has more points than his team-mate but we couldn’t justify selecting Leeds’ top scorer as a wide forward since he has always been a specialist centre-forward.
Harrison makes the cut having scored seven goals and provided six assists in the Premier League this season.
Here’s the team in full…
Of course, we know that Southgate would not base his selection on Dream Team stats if such a situation were to occur.
Here’s the XI we think England’s head coach would pick if the Super League players were omitted.
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