Plenty of surprises as England squad announced
The England squad announcement for the UEFA Nations League games against Iceland and Denmark has been made, and Gareth Southgate has made a few surprise selections.
Harry Maguire was initially named in the England squad but has since been withdrawn as he was found guilty of three charges of aggravated assault, attempting to bribe an official and resisting arrest and was handed a 21-month and 10 day suspended prison sentence by the Greek authorities after his assault trial concluded, with Maguire now back in the UK.
Talented youngsters Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden get a first call up to the senior squad, while Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips is also in the senior squad for the first time.
Southampton duo Danny Ings and James Ward-Prowse get their first call ups in a long time, while Eric Dier, Michael Keane and Tammy Abraham are also in the England squad.
Captain Harry Kane is also included as he was forced to self-isolate after going on vacation to the Caribbean during his summer break. So too is Raheem Sterling who tested negative for coronavirus after being at a party in Jamaica with Usain Bolt last week, as Bolt went into self-isolation as a precaution.
Ben Chilwell, Jordan Henderson, James Maddison and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all out injured for England.
Southgate was asked about including Maguire in his latest squad and revealed he has spoken to the Manchester United captain and at the time was happy with the decision he has made based on the facts he knows.
“It is clearly a decision that is not straightforward. I’ve spoken with Harry and I have the insight to the story which is very different to what is being reported,” Southgate said. “If facts change, or information changes, I have to review that decision. I have a fantastic relationship with the boy. I have no reason to doubt what he’s telling me. It is important that he knows he has my support. You always make decisions to the best of your ability given the information you have. At this moment in time that is where I am with it. Harry regrets the fact he has brought the attention to the team and has apologized for that.”
Asked about the details Maguire has told Southgate about the ongoing situation, the England boss didn’t reveal what he knows due to the trial in Greece still ongoing when he named his squad. Since then, Maguire was found guilty and he is no longer in the England squad.
The England manager revealed that calling up Phillips, Greenwood and Foden for the first time was a delight.
Southgate’s side are in Group A of the Nations League and the games against Iceland ( will be their first games since November as the talented young squad aims to keep tuning up ahead of the delayed EURO 2020 tournament which will now take place in the summer of 2021.
England are among the favorties to win that tournament next summer and the fact Southgate has more young talent emerging, as well as some in-form players back in the fold, gives him plenty of options.
It was perhaps surprising to see Jack Grealish not selected, once again, as the Aston Villa captain is tipped by many to be included. Dele Alli wasn’t named in the squad and Southgate hasn’t named a left back either, so it will be intriguing to see what happens there.
Below is the England squad in full.
England squad announcement
Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Eric Dier, Joe Gomez, Michael Keane, Tyrone Mings, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker
Midfielders: Phil Foden, Mason Mount, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice, James Ward-Prowse, Harry Winks
Forwards: Tammy Abraham, Mason Greenwood, Danny Ings, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling