After announcing his new contract as England manager, Gareth Southgate revealed his squad for the upcoming internationals, including three young debutants.
Leicester City playmaker James Maddison, Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho and Derby’s on-loan midfielder Mason Mount are in the squad for the Nations League games against Croatia and Spain.
21-year-old Maddison scored a fantastic free-kick against Newcastle in the Premier League, 18-year-old Jadon Sancho has five assists in the Bundesliga and 19-year-old Chelsea loanee Mount played a starring role in Derby’s Carabao Cup victory at Old Trafford.
“It aligns with what we have done in the last 18 months,” said Southgate.
“We have got a few injuries in midfield, in particular. There are some exciting young players who we have been tracking and it is a great opportunity for us to look at them.”
There are a total of six uncapped players in boss Southgate’s 25-man squad.
Fulham keeper Marcus Bettinelli, Southampton counterpart Alex McCarthy and Watford midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah are the other uncapped players. On Chalobah’s surprise inclusion, Southgate said:
“Nathaniel, I think, has more England youth caps than anyone bar James Milner. He trained with us over the summer and has had two 90 minute games for Watford in the League Cup and we know the quality that he has.”
Ross Barkley also makes his first appearance in the England squad since May 2016.
“Ross has started the season in the team at Chelsea. He is a player we know well, who has good technical quality. This is a good opportunity for him to come in”, Southgate said.
Southgate, whose previous deal was due to end after Euro 2020, led his team to the World Cup semi-finals for the first time in 28 years this summer in Russia.
He has agreed improved terms, which will see his salary increase to a reported £3m a year.
The absence of Jesse Lingard and Dele Alli through injury has created an opportunity for Maddison, Sancho and Mount to impress Southgate and stake their claim for a regular place in the squad.
The England squad in full can be accessed here.