sport news There are weaknesses in Gareth Southgate's squad but on the whole England are ...

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England manager Gareth Southgate's eyes may only be on Kosovo and the final game of Euro 2020 qualifying on Sunday, but for the rest of us it is hard not to think about next summer.

At the end of the World Cup in Russia 18 months ago, Southgate's expressed intention was to build on what he and his players had achieved in reaching the last four.

He may have done it with slightly different players than perhaps he anticipated, but he has done it all the same.

Gareth Southgate's England squad are still evolving nicely in the buildup to Euro 2020

Gareth Southgate's England squad are still evolving nicely in the buildup to Euro 2020

Few would have thought that only four of the team who started against Croatia that night in Moscow would have been playing on the night England finalised qualification for their next major tournament.

It would have been five had Raheem Sterling not clashed with Joe Gomez at St George's Park at the start of the week, but it's a valid observation nevertheless.

Some players have gone backwards — it feels a long way back to the squad, never mind the team, for Dele Alli and Eric Dier. But Southgate's team have evolved organically on the whole over the last year or so, and the 14 players who contributed to the 7-0 dismantling of feeble Montenegro on Thursday will start their own jostle for a place when England land in Pristina later on Saturday.

There are still problems for Southgate to address but matters are going rather well overall

There are still problems for Southgate to address but matters are going rather well overall

In central midfield there remain doubts about Declan Rice, who has fallen out of favour

In central midfield there remain doubts about Declan Rice, who has fallen out of favour

'We've got a fairly settled squad but there are obviously players who've been with us in the last 18 months who are still in our thinking,' said Southgate.

'We are always learning about the players more in the really big matches and the really high-pressure games. The team on Thursday was extremely young and the squad is young and we've got to get the balance right with that. 

'But these, in most cases, are our best players, we think. Although next summer is going to come before a lot of them peak, we can still be hugely competitive and our challenge is to be able to compete, as we found a way to compete in Russia, with a squad that's very exciting.'

With a minimum of two of England's three group games scheduled for Wembley next summer, it will feel very much like a home tournament. Southgate played in the last such event here, 23 years ago in Euro 96.

'Yes, it's going to be an incredible experience for

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