Ahead of the announcement of Gareth Southgate’s 23-man World Cup squad tomorrow, it has emerged that a duo with 109 caps between them will not be on the plane.
While that announcement hasn’t been made yet, the likes of BBC Sport and Sky Sports are reporting that both Jack Wilshere and Joe Hart will not be in the England squad for the upcoming World Cup in Moscow.
The English midfield situation has drawn the most debate prior to June’s showpiece, with some clamouring for the inclusion of Arsenal’s Wilshere.
The 26-year-old is undoubtedly talented, but has had among the worst luck with injuries among those in the English professional game. Wilshere made 38 appearances for the Gunners this season, the first time he has played more than 35 since 2011.
While sustained game-time is encouraging, form is still an issue, with other outlets reporting that Manchester City’s Fabian Delph is set to get the nod, given his role in the Premier League champion’s excellent campaign.
As for Joe Hart, the former England number one continues his marked decline.
Despite being just 31, and having 75 England caps to his name, Hart’s days as an international stalwart may be at an end. Since Pep Guardiola’s arrival at the Etihad, Hart has spent loan spells at Torino and West Ham.
It is his poor campaign with West Ham this season, which saw him replaced in the starting line-up by Adrián, that has put paid to his hopes of appearing at a fourth international tournament, after turning out for Euro 2012, the 2014 World Cup, and Euro 2016.
Everton’s Jordan Pickford and Stoke City’s Jack Butland are likely to contend for the coveted number one shirt.