Gareth Southgate has named a 28-man England squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia, with a number of surprises.
Leicester City defender Harry Maguire and Watford midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah – both of whom changed clubs in the summer – have been rewarded for their strong starts to the new Premier League season in the first England squad to be announced since the international retirement of Wayne Rooney earlier this week.
— England (@England) August 24, 2017
Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge has also been included after an injury spell on the sidelines, while Everton’s new £30m signing Jordan Pickford is one of four goalkeepers included (having previously been called up but not capped doe England’s matches in June) with Jack Butland expected to duke it out with Joe Hart for that number one spot.
Elsewhere there are few other surprises, West Brom midfielder Jake Livermore is also included in a squad that is not at all short of forward options as Jermain Defoe keeps his place. There is however, no spot for Arsenal’s Theo Walcott, with Adam Lallana and Danny Rose missing out through injury.
Goalkeepers: Joe Hart, Jack Butland, Tom Heaton, Jordan Pickford
Defenders: Ryan Bertrand, Gary Cahill, Aaron Cresswell, Phil Jones, Michael Keane, Chris Smalling, John Stones, Kieran Tripper, Kyle Walker, Harry Maguire
Midfielders: Dele Alli, Nathaniel Chalobah, Eric Dier, Jordan Henderson, Jesse Lingard, Jake Livermore, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Raheem Sterling
Forwards: Jermain Defoe, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Daniel Sturridge, Jamie Vardy, Danny Welbeck.
The international break rolls around after this weekend’s domestic fixtures, with the Three Lions travelling to Malta for the September 1st clash before hosting Slovakia at Wembley three days later.
On this week’s episode of the Mixer Irish football podcast, we catch up with Sligo Rovers striker Vinny Faherty after that brilliant win at Cork City last weekend, as well as looking back at last weekend’s Premier Divison matches and ahead to this weekend’s FAI Cup action.