England call up uncapped trio as big names miss the cut

Date published: Thursday 2nd November 2017 1:46

Tammy Abraham, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Joe Gomez have been called up by England for the first time.

Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions kick-off their World Cup preparations with back-to-back friendlies against Germany and Brazil at Wembley.

England are clearly ready to experiment in this month’s internationals given Swansea striker Abraham and Crystal Palace’s Loftus-Cheek – both on loan from Chelsea – are joined in the 25-man squad by Liverpool defender Gomez.

Manchester United’s Ashley Young, who last played for his country in September 2013, has been rewarded for his resurgent form with a call-up, while Danny Rose and Jamie Vardy return from injury.

There are some glaring absentees from Southgate’s squad.

The Liverpool duo of Daniel Sturridge and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have been left out, as has Manchester United centre-back Chris Smalling.

Everton’s Michael Keane, who has been struggling with a foot complaint, was another notable name missing, while Jermain Defoe, Aaron Cresswell, Fraser Forster and Jake Livermore are others from the previous squad to not be involved.

Impressive Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks was included after a fine debut at Lithuania, as was Manchester City’s Fabian Delph, but Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott have not been included.

Speaking at a press conference at Wembley, Southgate said: “If I’m asking club managers to be brave and pick young players, I think I’ve got to do the same.”

The England boss took issue with the upcoming double-header being referred to as “non-competitive”, insisting there was no such thing at this level.

“There is no non-competitive game for England,” he said. “These are huge opportunities for us to improve and play against the best two teams in the world currently. I don’t see a fixture where you pull an England shirt on and it’s not competitive. It’s important we register that.

On 32-year-old Young’s recall, more than four years after his last cap, Southgate said: “His performances warrant it. We want to play with wing-backs – I think it’s a role he can perform, left or right, very well. He’s played very well for Manchester United.

“Generally speaking we want to look at younger players, and develop the team, but I’ve always said if a more senior player is playing well and warrants the call-up, we should include them. He’s a player every Manchester United manager has picked, and that tells me something about his mentality and the trust they have in him.”

There was no place for Arsenal midfielder Wilshere despite his club manager Arsene Wenger tipping him for a recall earlier this week.

“I don’t know how you can get in an England squad without getting in an Arsenal team,” Southgate said.

“There is no question in our mind about Jack Wilshere’s ability and football brain and personality, we just need to see him playing regular league football before we think it is right to put him back in.

“I did have a conversation with Arsene about him on Saturday because he is a top player so for him it is just game-time.”

Southgate has sacrificed Smalling so he can take a look at the younger defenders in his squad.

“I have huge respect for Chris. He is a player playing at a big club,” Southgate said.

“We want to play in a certain way and the players I have brought in I want to see using the ball from the back and building it up in a certain way.

“And that is a style thing I want to look at. I know what Chris can do.

“There are a few young defenders that haven’t got as many games under their belt and I think it is a great chance to see what they can do and see if they can play at this level.”

England squad to face Germany and Brazil:

Tammy Abraham (Swansea), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Jack Butland (Stoke), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Man City), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Joe Hart (West Ham), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Phil Jones (Man Utd), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Jesse Lingard (Man Utd), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Crystal Palace), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Marcus Rashford (Man Utd), Danny Rose (Tottenham), Raheem Sterling (Man City), John Stones (Man City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Kyle Walker (Man City), Harry Winks (Tottenham), Ashley Young (Man Utd).

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