Southgate, who will lead the Three Lions in this summer’s rescheduled Euro 2020, has big decisions to make in the build-up to the tournament – primarily over which midfielders he should select.
A host of No.10s are all shining for their respective clubs this season and deserving of call-ups, including Mason Mount, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, James Maddison and Harvey Barnes, not to mention the more traditional widemen Raheem Sterling and Jadon Sancho.
It’s likely Southgate will have to disappoint at least one of the aforementioned playmakers, but this is exciting rather than daunting for the boss – who knows all about actual selection headaches.
Joining Tuesday’s talkSPORT Breakfast for a lengthy and in-depth interview, Southgate revealed the time he was in charge of Middlesbrough and was given a real headache by Harry Redknapp, who was at the time Tottenham manager.
“I can remember being at Middlesbrough playing Tottenham,” began Southgate on talkSPORT, “and we were 2-1 up in the game.
“Harry Redknapp put Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov on, and I looked at my bench and had five kids from the academy…
“Now that’s a headache, because you are thinking ‘I’m not quite sure how we turn this game around’, and improve what we’ve got on the field.
“When you’ve got a choice of outstanding talent, of course there are big decisions you have to make, but in the end some of these decisions are sadly taken out of your hands.
“If you look at our squad for March we’re already without Joe Gomez, Jordan Henderson, Harvey Barnes… James Justin who has been doing exceptionally well at Leicester will be out.
“So how many of these guys [will be fit], and then it’s just a case of who’s playing the best? Who has the pedigree and has performed at a high level before, coupled with who is in form and fits the way we play with and without the ball?
“So of course there is a lot of talent in these attacking areas.
“What’s really exciting is that for years we talked about development in English football and where were the creative players and how do we develop them. We’ve had root and branch reviews of everything from grassroots football to academy football for decades, and we have now [reaped the benefits].”