Aston Villa stars selected for Euro 2024

Two of Aston Villa's key men this season have been selected by Gareth Southgate to be a part of England's pre-Euro 2024 training camp.
Brentford FC v Newcastle United - Premier League
Brentford FC v Newcastle United - Premier League / Eddie Keogh/GettyImages

Ezri Konsa and Ollie Watkins, two of Villa's standout players this season, have been selected for England's final training camp ahead of this summer's European Championships.

England Head Coach Gareth Southgate has selected an initial 33-man squad to be part of the build up the tournament that will see the team take on Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iceland in friendlies at St James' Park and Wembley respectively. Once these games have been played, Southgate will then submit his final 26-man squad for the tournament by midnight of 7th June. That final squad will then be announced on 8th June.

Following fantastic seasons in Claret and Blue, both Konsa and Watkins deservedly see their names on the initial squad sheet. Konsa achieved the best tackle success rate of anyone in the Premier League this season with a whopping 93.1% success. His one-on-one tackling ability has been key for Villa and the defence this season and for anyone who doesn't watch Villa regularly, Konsa highlighted his quality in that capacity when up against Vinicius Jr. against Brazil at Wembley back in March.

When Konsa signed for Villa from Brentford in 2019 for a fee in the region of £12 million many were quick to judge and say Villa had paid over the odds for a player that had no Premier League experience. However, the club have known for some time that the potential Konsa held was extremely high and he has gone on to become a detremental figure in the Villa team since Villa's promotion. With many seeing England's weakest area of the pitch being the defence, Konsa will be keen to impress in these friendlies and force his way into the starting XI.

Ezri Konsa, Vinicius Junior
England v Brazil - International Friendly / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

Ollie Watkins, as most people know, has had a brilliant season. With 27 goals across all competitions this year it was a no brainer that Southgate was going to select him. Watkins also picked up the Premier League Playmaker of the Season award as a result of having the most assists (13) out of anyone in the league.

With his obvious goal scoring quality combined with his ability to create chances for others, he really deserved his call up to the squad. Many fans were calling for Toney (who has also been selected) and Solanke to be picked ahead of Watkins but with what he contributes to the Villa team's performance each week (for a team that has qualified for the Champions League...) he simply had to be given his opportunity. It is highly likely that Watkins be play number two to England captain Harry Kane in the forward line, but he will be ready to play his part when required, that's for certain.

Ollie Watkins
England v Brazil - International Friendly / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

A massive well done to the two of them for being selected, and they will be joined at the Championships (assuming the make the final squad) by other members of Villa's squad. Captain John McGinn will be representing Scotland and will be playing in the tournament opener against hosts Germany.

Matty Cash is also likely to be a part of Poland's squad while Your Tielemans will likely be a key figure in Belgium's midfield. Other names for Villa fans to look out for include Pau Torres who will be hoping to have played his way into Spain's squad following an outstanding season for Villa.

Netherlands v Scotland - International Friendly
Netherlands v Scotland - International Friendly / Rene Nijhuis/MB Media/GettyImages

England's initial 33-man squad is listed below:

Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson (Crystal Palace), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal), James Trafford (Burnley)

Defenders: Jarrad Branthwaite (Everton), Lewis Dunk (Brighton), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Ezri Konsa (Aston Villa), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Jarell Quansah (Liverpool), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), Kyle Walker (Manchester City)

Midfielders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Curtis Jones (Liverpool), Kobbie Mainoo (Manchester United), Declan Rice (Arsenal), Adam Wharton (Crystal Palace)

Forwards: Jarrod Bowen (West Ham), Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Anthony Gordon (Newcastle), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Bayern Munich), James Maddison (Tottenham Hotspur), Cole Palmer (Chelsea), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Ivan Toney (Brentford), Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa)