England’s 26-man World Cup squad: James Maddison in alongside Conor Gallagher, Ben White, Callum Wilson and Marcus Rashford as Gareth Southgate announces 26 players heading to Qatar

    James Maddison and Callum Wilson have been included in England’s World Cup squad.

    Leicester City playmaker Maddison and Newcastle striker Wilson are among the 26 players picked by Gareth Southgate for the tournament in Qatar, which kicks off on November 20.

    Maddison is in the form of his career and will realise his World Cup dream

    Getty

    Maddison is in the form of his career and will realise his World Cup dream

    Conor Gallagher has also got the nod

    Getty

    Conor Gallagher has also got the nod

    Arsenal defender Ben White, Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher and Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford have also been given the nod by Three Lions boss Southgate.

    Maddison had been one of the main topics of debate leading up to the big squad news.

    The 25-year-old has been one of the Premier League’s outstanding players this year, with only Harry Kane, Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne directly involved in more goals.

    But he has not featured for England since winning his one and only cap three years ago and it was expected he would miss out on selection.

    However, England boss Southgate has decided Maddison’s form for Leicester has been too good to ignore and he will now realise his World Cup dream.

    Southgate named his England squad for the World Cup on Thursday

    Getty

    Southgate named his England squad for the World Cup on Thursday

    Southgate said he had decided two weeks ago that Maddison would be in the squad.

    “He’s playing really well, he’s a good player, he’s earned the right,” the England manager said of the Foxes star.

    “We think he can give us something slightly different to the other attacking players we’ve got.

    “I think at various stages there have been conversations, debates about James – there’s been moments where ahead of the Euros I don’t think he was in contention and (in) September was probably a fair debate, but I think he’s playing as well as any of the attacking players in this country.”

    Gallagher is also a surprising pick having played a bit-part role for Chelsea this term and having been dropped to the Under-21s in the last international break.

    Wilson, who like Maddison has not made an appearance for England since 2019, is back in the squad too owing to his impressive form in the Premier League this season.

    The Newcastle striker will be the main back-up to captain Harry Kane, having scored six goals in ten appearances for the Magpies.

    Brentford striker Ivan Toney misses out, despite being included in England’s last squad and having netted eight Premier League goals this season.

    Wilson has been rewarded for his superb performances leading the line for Newcastle

    Getty

    Wilson has been rewarded for his superb performances leading the line for Newcastle

    But there is no place for Brentford star Toney

    Getty

    But there is no place for Brentford star Toney

    Tammy Abraham is among the other striker hopefuls to have missed the cut, with the former Chelsea star suffering a tough second season with Roma which has seen him score just four goals.

    AC Milan’s Fikayo Tomori and Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi have also missed out, while there is no place for Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings, Liverpool’s Joe Gomez, Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse or West Ham forward Jarrod Bowen.

    Manchester United’s £75million man Jadon Sancho is also omitted, while Chelsea duo Ben Chilwell and Reece James are both out having suffered injuries in recent weeks.

    But Manchester City pair Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips have been included despite their fitness struggles.

    Walker had groin surgery in October and has not played for Manchester City since but Southgate has decided to gamble on his fitness, with fellow right-back James already having been ruled out.

    The same goes for Phillips, who has not completed 90 minutes for City all season and only made his return to action from shoulder surgery this week in the Carabao Cup as a substitute.

    Harry Maguire keeps his place despite his lack of minutes for Manchester United this season.

    Southgate has stuck by Maguire despite his struggles at club level

    Getty

    Southgate has stuck by Maguire despite his struggles at club level

    White also gets in the squad for a second successive tournament, having been unused when England reached the final of Euro 2020.

    The 25-year-old has been outstanding for Arsenal at right-back this season but is a centre-back by trade and his versatility could prove crucial in Qatar.

    Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold, Newcastle’s Kieran Trippier and Manchester United’s Luke Shaw are the other full-back options in the travelling party.

    Rashford, meanwhile, returns to the squad for the World Cup as part of some impressive attacking talent, headed by Kane and including Bukayo Saka, Mason Mount, Jack Grealish, Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden.

    Rashford has not played for England since the Euro 2020 final defeat by Italy but his return to form for Manchester United has earned him a recall.

    As expected, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope and Aaron Ramsdale are the three goalkeepers, while Eric Dier and Conor Coady are the other centre-back options alongside Maguire, White and John Stones.

    England’s 26-man squad for the World Cup:

    Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford (Everton) Nick Pope (Newcastle), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal). 

    Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Conor Coady (Everton, on-loan from Wolves), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), Kyle Walker (Manchester City) Ben White (Arsenal). 

    Midfielders: Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City), Declan Rice (West Ham), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool).

    Forwards: James Maddison (Leicester City), Marcus Rashford (Man United), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Chelsea), Callum Wilson (Newcastle).

    Asked if his squad contained everything necessary to win a World Cup, Southgate said: “We’ve wanted to make sure the balance of the squad is right.

    “I think the squad is more important than ever. With five substitutes you can have almost half the team changed during the game so you want different options for different moments of matches and stages at the tournament as well.

    “We’ve had to cover a couple of players that aren’t yet fully fit, so having 26 available meant we were probably able to take a couple of risks that you might not have been able to with 23, but we think the balance is there and we’ve got cover in the positions we need.

    “We’re lighter on depth in some positions than others but we think we’ve got everything covered.”

    Source

    Previous articleErik ten Hag explains why Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t in the Manchester United squad to face Aston Villa