Action Images via Reuters / Carl Recine Livepic
In a squad list peculiarly headed up by four goalkeepers, captain Wayne Rooney has been excluded from England’s 25-man throng for upcoming meetings with Scotland and France.
Tottenham Hotspur’s Kieran Trippier received his first call-up to the international fold in Thursday’s announcement, while Gareth Southgate kept Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson and veteran Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe in the camp.
The selection of Manchester United starlet Marcus Rashford validates reports that the forward’s not travelling with the Under-21 squad for the European Championship in Poland, which kicks off against Sweden on June 16. In this instance, Jose Mourinho seems to have won a club versus country skirmish.
Another notable exclusion aside from that of Rooney is Everton midfielder Ross Barkley, who was an unused substitute in each of the Three Lions’ last seven matches.
(Photo courtesy: Action Images)
The World Cup qualifier against old rival Scotland at Hampden Park is set for June 10, with the friendly visit to France following three days later.
“The Scotland game is one of football’s great fixtures,” Southgate said. “We’re in a place in the group where a win can really put us in a very strong position, and that’s what we want to achieve.
“France is a great challenge for us. Our ambition with our friendly matches is to play the best possible teams – we’ve done that by playing Spain and Germany already. They’re teams we want to test ourselves against and these are great opportunities to learn and improve.
“A game away in the Stade de France will be a brilliant occasion for the players.”
Here is Southgate’s squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Joe Hart (Manchester City), Tom Heaton (Burnley)
Defenders: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool), Aaron Cresswell (West Ham United), Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur)
Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Jake Livermore (West Bromwich Albion), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
Forwards: Jermain Defoe (Sunderland), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)