Uncapped 19-year-old Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold is in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England squad for this summer’s World Cup in Russia.

Defender Gary Cahill has been recalled and there are also places for Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Nick Pope.

Goalkeeper Joe Hart and midfielder Jack Wilshere have not been included,along with left-back Ryan Bertrand.

England start their Group G campaign against Tunisia on 18 June, before games against Panama and Belgium.

Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana is one of five players on standby for the tournament, along with Burnley keeper Tom Heaton, Clarets defender James Tarkowski, Bournemouth’s Lewis Cook and fellow midfielder Jake Livermore of West Brom.

“I believe this is a squad we can be excited about,” Southgate said.

“It is a young group but with some really important senior players, so I feel the balance of the squad is good, both in terms of its experience, its character and also the positional balance.”

Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley).

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United).

Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea).

Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal).

Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley).

England’s key World Cup dates
2 June v Nigeria (friendly)
7 June v Costa Rica (friendly)
12 June Squad leaves for Russia
18 June v Tunisia (opening group game)
24 June v Panama (second group game)
28 June v Belgium (final group game)

England squad in stats

  • Age: Based on players’ age on the first matchday, England have named their third youngest squad for a World Cup (26 years 18 days) behind only the 1958 (25 years 81 days) and 2006 (25 years 286 days) editions.
  • Caps: The squad has made a total of 449 international appearances at an average of 19.5. Cahill (58) is the only player with more than 40 caps.
  • Goals: They have scored a total of 55 goals for England. Welbeck (15) and Kane (12) are the only players in double figures.
  • Continuity: Only five of the players featured in the 2014 squad – Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Sterling and Welbeck. This compares with six in the squad of four years ago that had been picked for the previous tournament.
  • Clubs: 10 Premier League clubs are represented, with Tottenham (five) boasting the most players ahead of Manchester United and Manchester City (four each).

Why was Alexander-Arnold picked?

Alexander-Arnold’s call-up is his first for the England senior team and follows the right-back’s breakthrough season at Liverpool.

The England Under-21 international has played 33 times for the Reds this season, including nine appearances in their run to the Champions League final.

“I found out this morning, just before we came out to Marbella,” he told Liverpool’s official website. “Jurgen Klopp said: ‘Have you got anything planned around the time of the World Cup?’

“I was like: ‘No, no holidays or anything…’

“He said to me: ‘OK, good. You’re in the squad!’ It was a really proud moment.”

Alexander-Arnold is one of four full-backs in the squad, alongside Manchester City’s Kyle Walker and Tottenham pair Kieran Trippier and Danny Rose.

Manchester City’s Fabian Delph and Manchester United’s Ashley Young have played in a full-back position for the majority of this season at their clubs.

‘Tough to leave out Hart and Bertrand’

Two of the most notable absentees from the squad are Manchester City keeper Hart and Southampton full-back Bertrand.

Hart, 31, has won 75 caps and was England’s first-choice goalkeeper at the past three major tournaments but has had a poor season, conceding 39 goals in 19 Premier League games on loan at West Ham.

Burnley’s Pope was chosen over him, joining recent starters Jack Butland and Jordan Pickford in the squad, while Clarets team-mate Tom Heaton is selected as the goalkeeper on the standby list, despite not playing since September because of injury.

Bertrand withdrew from the squad for the friendlies against the Netherlands and Italy in March with injury, but had featured in nine of England’s previous 10 games.

“Both calls were really tough,” Southgate said.

“They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.

“With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance?

“We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season.

“Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season but I just felt the others were ahead of him.”

The other major decisions

One player returning to the squad is Chelsea centre-back Cahill.

He was left out of England’s most recent squad for the friendlies against the Netherlands and Italy in March. Before that, the 32-year-old was an unused substitute in friendlies against Brazil and Germany, plus the final World Cup qualifier against Lithuania.

Cahill was preferred to fellow centre-back Chris Smalling, who played 45 times for Manchester United this season.

Wilshere and Newcastle’s Jonjo Shelvey, who had been tipped for an inclusion after impressive form at the end of the season, have been overlooked in midfield.

Arsenal forward Danny Welbeck, who scored five Premier League goals this season, is included.

‘Dream come true’ – player reaction

Full-back Kyle Walker posted a picture on Twitter after he missed manager Gareth Southgate's phone call. Luckily for Walker, the England manager called back

Full-back Kyle Walker posted a picture on Twitter after he missed manager Gareth Southgate’s phone call. Luckily for Walker, the England manager called back

Jack Butland: Every call-up is an honour, but a World Cup call-up is something extra special! I’ve always dreamed of this moment and can’t wait for the next couple of months.

Kyle Walker: Honoured to be able to represent England at the 2018 World Cup! Can’t wait to get there and do the fans proud! Thank you for all your kind messages!

Dele Alli: It’s an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It’s a dream come true! Get me to Russia!!

Marcus Rashford: After years of you standing on the touchline in the cold and rain, mum, we’re off to the World Cup!

Jamie Vardy: What an honour! No words to describe the feeling right now….. can’t wait to get going! See you in Russia.

Trent Alexander-Arnold: Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the Three Lions this summer!

Ashley Young also tweeted after being selected for a World Cup for the first time

Ashley Young also tweeted after being selected for a World Cup for the first time

Bailey and Sancho in? The speculation

As ever with squad announcements, speculation was rife before the 23 names were released at 14:00 BST, with two Germany-based players in particular mentioned on social media.

Jamaica-born Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey sparked rumours by tweeting a picture of himself with the caption “humble lion” shortly before the announcement.

Reports suggest the 20-year-old, who has scored 12 goals in Germany this season, qualifies for England through his grandparents but there remain doubts about his eligibility.

Speculation also suggested Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho was going to be named on the standby list by Southgate.

Sancho only made his first-team debut in October and has played 12 times for Dortmund this season, having joined from Manchester City in August.

He has started the German club’s past four matches, scoring once and providing three assists, and was part of the England team that won the 2017 Under-17 World Cup.

Leon Bailey sparked rumours after posting on Instagram

Leon Bailey sparked rumours after posting on Instagram

 

Source: BBC

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