For decades, England have been blessed with some of the most talented midfielders in world football. From Paul Gascoigne to Frank Lampard, Paul Scholes, and Steven Gerrard; The Three Lions have had the luxury of selecting world-class operators. Crucially, there’s always been competition for places, and that’s no different now ahead of the 2021 European Championships. With Jack Grealish, James Maddison, and Mason Mount to choose from, England’s number-ten spot has plenty of suitors. But, who should Gareth Southgate start during the summer competition?
Quality of Teammates is Worth Considering
In their own right, each of the above players has immense quality. Each individual has proved himself capable of playing in the English top-flight and to an extremely high standard. However, the likelihood is that Southgate can only select one to start at EURO 2021. With an abundance of world-class attackers, including Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, and Raheem Sterling, the England manager will be seeking a creative influence to open up space in midfield. At the time of writing, Aston Villa captain Grealish has averaged 3.6 chances created per 90 minutes in the Premier League throughout the 2020-21 campaign. By comparison, Mount’s total sits at 2.8, while Maddison’s is 2.4.
Although this doesn’t paint the whole picture, few can dispute the quality of Grealish’s teammates compared to those of his fellow countrymen. That arguably makes his creativity totals even more impressive. Not only that, but the Birmingham-born midfielder also tops the charts regarding ball recoveries and ground duel success with 5.1 and 62.75 percent, respectively. He would therefore help The Three Lions in transition as well as offering that much-needed creativity.
Fighting for Their National Team Spots
There’s a level of expectation that Southgate’s team should reach the latter stages of EURO 2021. This pressure may influence the manager’s decision in his midfield dilemma. Currently, Mount has more international caps than both Grealish and Maddison. He’s also made those opportunities count, scoring three goals in 13 appearances. That said, if Southgate wishes to get natural leadership on the field, Grealish is perhaps the more logical option.
Statistically, Maddison may be the better option off the bench. According to Understat, he averages 0.14 more goals per 90 than Grealish and takes 0.82 more shots each game. In terms of impact, a player of the Leicester midfielder’s calibre would undoubtedly boost England’s chances of winning the European Championships. As such, potential Three Lions success represents an intriguing betting option. Prospective bettors can take advantage of available free bets at platforms like 888 Sport, bet365, Sky Bet, and many more. Sky Bet, for example, provides new users with £20 in free bets upon betting an initial £5 wager. With markets covering EURO 2021, such offers may appeal to England fans – particularly with such a wealth of talent to choose from.
The Ideal Problem to Have
Going into the European Championships, few managers will share Southgate’s creative selection issue. On paper, each player offers something different, giving the England manager much to ponder. Although Grealish’s stats make for better reading, it’s clear that Southgate rates Mount’s work ethic and off-the-ball movement. That said, whoever is selected, England have a realistic chance of winning EURO 2021.