New deal, new challenges – what the future holds for Gareth Southgate

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Gareth Southgate will continue in charge of England until the 2022 World Cup after signing a new four-year contract.

Here, Press Association Sport’s Jim van Wijk takes a look at some of the key challenges facing the Three Lions ahead of the qualification campaign for Euro 2020.

Keep the Young Lions roaring

Youth was key to England’s World Cup success, the new bond making a real impact on the pitch as well as off it. Southgate has shown with his squad selections since the finals in Russia that he will continue to give an opportunity to young talent. However, finding a balance between the continued progress of the senior national team and a lack of game time for some at club level will be a difficult balancing act – just as many of his predecessors had found.

Tighten up at the back

Spain score against England in their Nations League match at Wembley. (PA)
England’s defence found themselves exposed in the Nations League defeat to Spain at Wembley (Mike Egerton/PA Wire)

Find a midfield maestro

How best to provide the supply line in the transition from defence to attack with a cutting edge in a key area is always a testing conundrum. Southgate has been keeping an eye on the progress of England Under-21 midfielder Mason Mount, the 19-year-old on loan at Derby from Chelsea. James Maddison, meanwhile, has impressed during his first few Premier League outings with Leicester after a big-money summer move from Norwich. According to Foxes team-mate Harry Maguire, the 21-year-old is “definitely good enough to play for England”. Time will tell after he and Mount were both selected for the games against Croatia and Spain.

It cannot be all about set-pieces

England players get ready for a set piece. (PA)
England have plenty of threat from set-pieces, but need to offer something different in attack. (Nick Potts/PA)

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