Chalobah, Maguire get the nod in 28-man England squad

Date published: Thursday 24th August 2017 2:24

Leicester defender Harry Maguire and Watford midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah have been called up for England’s World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia next month.

Manager Gareth Southgate has named the duo in a 28-man squad for the games on September 1 and 4.

Wayne Rooney had been asked to join up with the squad but instead decided to call time on his Three Lions career at the age of 31.

Southgate has also named four goalkeepers in his panel, with Everton’s Jordan Pickford joining Joe Hart, Jack Butland and Tom Heaton.

Southgate is relishing the chance to see some more of Foxes defender Maguire as injury prevented him being called up for the summer internationals – the World Cup qualifying draw against Scotland and the 3-2 friendly defeat by France.

The England boss said: “I thought his performances for Hull were very good. He’s a defender that’s very comfortable with the ball and that’s the profile of international football.

“I think he’s already adjusted really well at Leicester to a new club. He plays with great composure (and) can defend the ball in the box.

“So I think it’s a really good opportunity for us to have a look at him…for him to get a feel of being around the senior squad and we can assess how he goes in training and that sort of thing.

“As you say, we were looking at him towards the end of last season but he wasn’t really fully fit towards the end of the year.”

Southgate believes the squad will continue to be strong without former captain Rooney, and is confident his younger team can thrive with some influence from playing alongside the more senior players.

Southgate added: “In March and June the squad have been together without (Rooney) so in that sense, these guys have got on with that and it’s the opportunity now for us to look forward, look to the future.

“You can see by the squad we’ve named, some younger players coming in, who we’ve been looking at for a while and we want to see that. We have to have an eye on developing the future.

“I did see the value of having some senior players around that. The likes of Jermain Defoe for example, who can help nurture some younger players as well as play a part – but equally we have to look forward.”

Southgate is optimistic about the future after England sides won the Under-20 World Cup and Under-19 European title, while other age group teams reached the European Under-21 and Under-17 Championship semi-finals.

“We have development teams, who’ve done brilliantly over the summer,” he added.

“There is a depth of players coming through and we’ve got to give them their head a bit.

“I’ve got to balance that by getting us results that help us to qualify but also I’ve got to look at the future and at the exciting players coming through.”

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