England coach Gareth Southgate has explained the omissions of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jesse Lingard from his latest squad.
England travel to take on the Czech Republic in Prague on October 11 before a trip to face Bulgaria three days later and Southgate has named his 25-man party with some notable omissions.
Chelsea pair Fikayo Tomori and Tammy Abraham have been called up, but the likes of Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lingard have been omitted.
Southgate told a news conference: “I have had a chat with Alex this morning. Last month we bought be him back earlier than he would have been. We wanted him to know he was part of our thoughts.
“He has only had a couple of games since then. It’s a little bit like Dele (Alli) where the season hasn’t really got going for them. We’re expecting them to challenge in the coming months.
“Bringing them in now though would have meant leaving out a player who is playing well like Mason Mount or James Maddison.”
Southgate, who has included Fabian Delph, also left out out-of-form Man Utd man Lingard, while a senior call-up still evades Man City’s Phil Foden.
“I think Jesse has had a difficult period and he is aware of that. He has always played well for us and has never let us down,” added Southgate.
“As an attacking player, you are always going to be judged on your goals and assists. Sancho, Sterling, those numbers are high. The bar is a lot higher now, we’ve given young people opportunities and they’ve flourished.”
Speaking about Kyle Walker’s continued absence, he said: “I said last month that we wanted to look at a couple of the other full-backs. I was really happy with Trippier and Alexander-Arnold. They are both in good form for their clubs, so is Kyle.
“He is slightly a more defensive full-back. The other two did well last month so we didn’t feel the decision to change was the right one.
“It’s not the case he is playing poorly, it’s just a case we have good competition for places.”