England wrapped up their preparations for the 2022 World Cup with a 3-3 draw against Germany and based on the evidence of last night’s thriller at Wembley, Bukayo Saka and Aaron Ramsdale must be handed starting roles in Qatar later this year.
Due to Jordan Pickford’s current injury, Nick Pope was given the nod for both of England’s Nations League encounters and it is safe to say that he did little to enhance his chances of being the Three Lions’ first-choice goalkeeper at the upcoming World Cup.
Pope was shaky in possession on a number of occasions against Hansi Flick’s men who he would eventually go on to gift a late equaliser as he spilt Serge Germany’s easily-savable effort into the path of Kai Havertz to level matters.
While you could make a case for the ex-Burnley man being England’s best stopper, his ball-playing ability is seriously suspect and a huge inhibition to the way Gareth Southgate wants his team to play.
With Pickford set to return to action in the first week of October, Southgate is set to have the full complement of his goalkeeping options once more but at the moment, Ramsdale looks to be the best bet.
Reigning England Player of the Year Saka was brought on midway through the second half against Germany shortly before Havertz doubled his side’s lead but Saka’s introduction proved to be one of the turning points of the contest.
The winger was lively and bright throughout his entire 24-minute cameo in which he set up Mason Mount’s leveller and almost grabbed the winning goal at the death but for an excellent stop from Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Prior to being replaced by Saka, Foden was having yet another ineffective outing in an England shirt and simply has not done enough to merit a place in the starting XI.
As he approaches what is probably his last major tournament at the helm of affairs, Southgate undoubtedly has some big calls to make in November with England looking to put behind their worst run of form for three decades behind them.