Sam Johnstone will miss Euro 2024

Sam Johnstone will miss Euro 2024

Gareth Southgate’s injury issues are piling up slowly as the Euro 2020 runners-up are facing an unlikely crisis ahead of the 2024 showpiece in Germany.

Sam Johnstone has joined the latest list of causalities and will miss the Euro 2024 if he does not recover in time. The injury to Johnstone will be a crushing blow for England’s preparations who are without captain Harry Kane, while Kyle Walker and Harry Maguire have also left the squad after the 1-0 defeat to Brazil at Wembley on Saturday (Mar 23).

Sam Johnstone’s injury update

Burnley's James Trafford is called up to replace Sam Johnstone in England squad (Credit: Getty)
Burnley’s James Trafford is called up to replace Sam Johnstone in the England squad (Credit: Getty)

Not the first choice, but Johnstone is a good understudy for Jordan Pickford who has been England’s number one choice goalkeeper. However, any injury issue to Pickford could leave Southgate’s gate open at the last line of defence. It is reported that Johnstone has injured his right elbow which could see him unavailable for both Crystal Palace and England. While the extent of the injury is still unknown, it is predicted that Johnstone’s season could be over.

If this is the case, Johnstone will face a race against time to be fit again and show his fitness to be included in the final 23-man squad for the Euro 2024 in Germany in June. His unavailability will be a blessing in disguise for Arsenal shot-stopper Aaron Ramsdale who finding time hard to come by this season. However, if Pickford is not able to start against Belgium or in any future matches before Johnstone’s return, he will be given the nod in the starting line-up.

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On the flip side, Southgate has turned to the England U-21 squad for a replacement with Burnley’s James Trafford being promoted to the senior side. He has linked with the squad for the Belgium friendly but is unlikely to get time considering Pickford and Ramsdale are still in the squad.

Rice to captain against Belgium

Glimpses from England vs Brazil Friendly match (Credit: Getty)
Glimpses from England vs Brazil Friendly match (Credit: Getty)

While Kane got injured for Bayern Munich in their last Bundesliga game, it left Southgate with captaincy options in the form of Maguire and Walker. However, with now opting to withdraw, this has left England to put the captain’s armband on the shoulders of Arsenal sensation Declan Rice. The former West Ham captain will also be earning his 50th cap for the national side on Tuesday at the Wembley Stadium.

Surprisingly, with two defenders now out of the squad Southgate named only one outfield squad change as Rico Lewis was given a call-up. Like Trafford in goal, Lewis was also part of the U-21 squad before earning a promotion.

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