Both Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham could've played for Ireland.

The 20 players in England’s Euro 2024 squad who could’ve represented other nations

Over 60% of England’s provisional 33-man Euro 2024 squad could have played for other countries, showcasing the multicultural make-up of the players at Gareth Southgate’s disposal.

While the likes of Evan Ferguson, Jamal Musiala, and Matty Cash are eligible to play for England but chose not to, many others chose to represent the Three Lions at the expense of another nation.

We’ve listed all the England stars who could’ve played for a different country in an alternate universe.

Joe Gomez

Born in London to a Gambian father and English mother, Gomez could’ve represented Gambia if it wasn’t for the African nation’s failure to guarantee the defender’s insurance.

Speaking in 2020, Gomez’s father told Africa Feeds: “Gambia was asked by Charlton Athletic if they were interested in Joseph playing for Gambia and they need to cover the insurance, but they never came back’’

“I really wanted Joseph to play for the Gambia, I love my country, I came to Gambia every year with my family – you know that very well. When I asked the Charlton manager he told me that Gambia never came back for Joe again after he requested for the insurance.”

Marc Guehi

Guehi was born in the Ivory Coast and could’ve helped the country of his birth win this year’s Africa Cup of Nations if he hadn’t already nailed his colours firmly to England’s mast.

“[I was] born in the Ivory Coast, born in Abidjan, came here at the age of one and lived in England all my life,” the defender said in 2021.

“I grew up mainly in Lewisham, so I know the area. I obviously moved closer to where I was at Chelsea but I’m a London boy and know exactly what it’s about to be a London boy.”

Guehi has won 10 caps for England and the Crystal Palace defender looks set to be England’s third-choice centre-back in Germany this summer.

Ezri Konsa

After years of being overlooked by England, Konsa has finally forced his way into Gareth Southgate’s plans and is appreciated for his versatility across several defensive positions.

But reports a few years back suggested the Aston Villa man was growing frustrated at his lack of international recognition and was considering making himself available for Portugal.

The Athletic reported that Konsa qualified for the Democratic Republic of the Congo through his father’s heritage while he could turn out for Angola, a neighbouring country in southern Africa, through his mother’s.

Portuguese citizenship can be acquired if the person applying has a mother or father who already has a Portuguese passport – they can be born in an overseas territory like Angola which declared independence from Portugal in 1975.

But Konsa eventually turned down the chance to line up alongside Ronaldo, Pepe and co.

Harry Maguire

Maguire qualified for both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland through his grandparents but was never linked with playing for either country.

Makes sense though, doesn’t it? We’ve never seen a bigger ‘Irish’ head than Maguire’s.

Jarrell Quansah

Quansah has forced himself into England’s provisional Euro 2024 squad after a fine breakthrough season at Liverpool.

The young defender is also eligible to play for Scotland, Ghana and Barbados through his grandparents. Given his current trajectory, he could be an England mainstay for years to come.

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Kyle Walker

Born in Sheffield in May 1990, Walker was eligible to play for Jamaica due to his father’s heritage. We think that ship has well and truly sailed now.

Manchester City's Kyle Walker lifts the Premier League trophy

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Trent Alexander-Arnold

While Alexander-Arnold might seem as Scouse as they come, his mother has American heritage – meaning the Liverpool defender was technically eligible to play for the USA.

Jude Bellingham

Like so many other lucky Brits, Bellingham is the owner of an Irish passport and could’ve turned out for the Republic of Ireland if the stars had aligned differently.

His father Mark’s parents are from Ireland, and Bellingham Sr tweeted as much in 2020 when his son made his debut for Borussia Dortmund, after transferring to Germany from Birmingham City.

Conor Gallagher

Eligible for both Scotland and the Republic of Ireland, Gallagher instead opted to represent England at youth level, doing so at Under-17s, Under-18s, Under-19s and Under-20s.

He was part of England’s triumphant Under-17s World Cup campaign, graduated to the Under-21s and the Chelsea midfielder is now set to be part of England’s midfield at this summer’s European Championship.

Curtis Jones

The uncapped Jones was a surprise inclusion in Southgate’s Euro 2024 squad; the Liverpool midfielder had spent the last part of the season injured, but had been in fine form during the winter months.

Perhaps the 23-year-old was picked to fend off interest from Nigeria. Jones qualifies to play for the Super Eagles through his grandmother and talk intensified of the midfielder playing for Nigeria around the last AFCON.

Kobbie Mainoo

Mainoo’s meteoric rise at Manchester United has catapulted the young midfielder into Southgate’s plans, with many observers backing the 19-year-old to start England’s opening game against Serbia.

While Mainoo fully deserved his call-up to the March squad for the friendlies against Brazil and Belgium, we’re sure the England boss was semi-motivated to keep the prodigy out of Ghana‘s hands.

Born in Stockport to Ghanaian parents, Mainoo was eligible to represent the Black Stars but now looks set to be an England regular for the rest of the decade.

This Manchester United youngster made his international bow in March 2024.

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Declan Rice

Rice very controversially switched allegiances to England in 2019 after making three appearances for the senior Republic of Ireland team a year previously.

FIFA allowed Rice to make the switch as he had not played in a competitive international, allowing Rice to represent his country of birth.

Rice qualified to play for Ireland through his Irish grandparents and reportedly grew up in a very Irish household.

The nature of Rice’s move to England left a sour taste for many Irishmen with Kevin Kilbane describing the midfielder’s move as a “slap in the face” to other Irish players.

Imagine a world where Ireland had Rice and Bellingham in their midfield? Crikey.

Eberechi Eze

Eze was born in south London to Nigerian parents and although he represented England at Under-20 and Under-21 level.

Then, Nigerian Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick met with the midfielder in December 2019 and stated afterwards: “I am confidently hopeful that he will play for Nigeria soon.”

However, Eze now plays for England instead and explained his decision in 2023: “[It was] more just speaking to the people around me, my family, my wife, getting good advice from the people around, trying to think what is the best decision for myself and my career,” he said.

“We think that this is the best one. It is a big opportunity for me, it is the highest level of football. I look at it with no regret at all.

“It is the highest level of football, you want to test yourself against that, you want to be in that and you can see from the quality of the team, where they are getting to, the confidence they are playing with, it is incredible. So, being part of that is big.

Having impressed in the friendly against Bosnia & Herzegovina, Eze will be quietly confident of being on the plane to Germany.

Anthony Gordon

Gordon remains available to both the Republic of Ireland and Scotland through his heritage – but the Newcastle winger has committed himself to the England cause.

“It was never a thought for me,” he said when asked if he had considered declaring for Scotland ahead of Euro 2024.

“That’s no disrespect to Scotland, that’s all. I’ve been tunnel-visioned on playing for England since I was five or six years old. Nothing could ever shake that off.

“I could never forgive myself if I hadn’t got to this point. Like I said, it is just a dream I’ve had from so young so nothing else has ever entered my mind at any time.”

Jack Grealish

Like Rice, Grealish was heralded as Irish football’s next big thing.

Grealish impressed for the Republic of Ireland at underage level, winning the under-21 player of the year award in 2015 but switched allegiances to England later in the year.

There was some hope that Grealish would choose Ireland over England given that he had played Gaelic football for John Mitchel’s Hurling and Camogie Club in Warwickshire until he was 14. He had also rejected several approaches from England in the past.

However, speaking ahead of Euro 2020, Grealish said he made the switch because he felt English.

“Obviously, I am English, my parents are born in England… I was obviously born in England, so I feel English. I changed to England and since then I’ve never looked back.”

Robbie Brady celebrates scoring for Ireland against Italy, Lille, Stade Pierre Mauroy 22 June 2016.

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Harry Kane

Unlike Rice and Grealish, England captain and talisman Harry Kane has never represented the Republic of Ireland at any level, but he actually boasts the strongest connection to the emerald isle of the three players.

Kane’s father Patrick was born in Connemara, County Galway, before Kane’s grandparents emigrated to London.

The Bayern Munich forward and his brother Charlie had a distinctly Irish upbringing in London and reportedly holidayed in the west of Ireland on several occasions as children.

However, England’s record goalscorer was overlooked by Irish scouts during his youth career, despite reported interest from Kane to represent Ireland.

By the time Kane piqued Irish scouts’ interest after breaking into the Tottenham first team, it was too late. Oh dear.

James Maddison

Back in 2019, the Irish Independent reported that the FAI had made an approach to Maddison about switching his international allegiances to the Republic of Ireland.

Then at Leicester, Maddison was believed to be open to the move – especially as Southgate steadfastly ignored the midfielder from his plans.

But Maddison is now a regular in the England squad. How Ireland could’ve done with a player of his creativity during their current fallow period.

Cole Palmer

Palmer grew up in Wythenshawe in South Manchester, but his grandfather on his dad’s side, Sterry Cole, was the man who left St. Kitts and Nevis in 1960 for a new life in England.

The Chelsea star has the country’s flag embroidered on his boots and has spoken about his relationship to the Caribbean country.

Speaking to The Players’ Tribune on how his father used to help him practice his ball control, Palmer revealed: “He used to say, ‘No point trying to shoot if you can’t keep hold of the ball in the first place.’

“We would do that every single day whatever the weather — and my dad’s family is from St Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean. He hates going out in the cold. But he’d do it for me anyway.

“That’s why I got the St Kitts flag on my boots, as a little tribute to him and his family.”

Bukayo Saka

One of the biggest stars in English football, Saka has blossomed at Arsenal and appears to be a lock on England’s right flank.

The 22-year-old chose the Three Lions over Nigeria and has previously spoken about the difficulty he would’ve felt in rejecting the chance to play for England.

“Choosing Nigeria over England would be a tough decision,” the forward admitted in 2021. “My whole family has been in England like forever, it would be very strange for me to adapt to an environment that I had never been in since growing up.

“When I grew up all my documents stated that I am English, hopefully Nigerian people will understand.”

Ivan Toney

Vying with Ollie Watkins to be the understudy to Harry Kane at the Euros, Toney has had to be patient to get his chance with the England team.

The Brentford striker only won his first cap in 2023, meaning speculation linking him with the Jamaica set-up never quite went away.

Toney, whose mother has Jamaican roots, was approached by the Jamaica Football Federation as part of their overseas recruiting efforts, but turned them down.

“I turned them down because at the time I was focusing on the play-offs [with Brentford] and it was a big chapter in my career,” Toney said in 2022.

“And I wanted to focus on getting promoted to the Premier League so that was the main thing at first. And it then sort of fizzled out and I just concentrated on playing in the Premier League which is everyone’s dream.

“And I felt that my chances were getting bigger and bigger to play for the England senior squad.”