Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori included in England’s squad for upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers after shining for Chelsea… as Dele Alli, Kyle Walker and Jesse Lingard are dumped following poor starts to the season
- Gareth Southgate has named England squad for upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers
- England face the Czech Republic on October 11 before Bulgaria three days later
- Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori have been rewarded for fine form
- England’s World Cup heroes Dele Alli, Kyle Walker and Jesse Lingard miss out
Gareth Southgate axed four of his World Cup heroes before warning his players that reputations count for nothing.
Jesse Lingard, Dele Alli, Kyle Walker and Eric Dier, who played key roles in England’s euphoric run to the semi-final in Russia last year, were all absentees as Southgate announced his squad for the forthcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Czech Republic and Bulgaria.
Three Chelsea youngsters, Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori, were called up.
Fikayo Tomori (L) and Tammy Abraham have been named in Gareth Southgate’s England squad
Southgate’s England side face Czech Republic away next Friday before taking on Bulgaria
ENGLAND’S FULL SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Tom Heaton, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ben Chilwell, Joe Gomez, Michael Keane, Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings, Danny Rose, Fikayo Tomori, Kieran Trippier
Midfielders: Ross Barkley, Fabian Delph, Jordan Henderson, James Maddison, Mason Mount, Declan Rice, Harry Winks
Forwards: Tammy Abraham, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling, Callum Wilson
The England manager has shown in the past that he isn’t afraid to upset big names — he axed Wayne Rooney from his starting XI for a World Cup qualifier against Slovenia in 2016 before phasing him out of his squad altogether.
But speaking at Wembley on Thursday, Southgate admitted that informing players they haven’t made the cut remains one of the worst aspects of his job.
‘Nothing has been as difficult as leaving Wayne Rooney out, because of what he’s done in the game,’ said the England manager.
‘What the lads I’ve spoken to need to know is that we still have belief in them. But when you’re selecting a squad, the players need to see some sort of meritocracy.
‘To bring those new guys in, who am I going to leave out? Does it mean leaving out somebody who is scoring freely and playing exceptionally well just because they’re younger?
‘Then everyone within the squad would look and say, “OK, there’s a privileged access to certain players”. It’s a nice problem in that you’ve got good quality of squad, it’s the worst problem in terms of the conversations that you have to have.’
Dele Alli (above, centre), Jesse Lingard and Kyle Walker have all missed out on the latest squad
During Friday’s briefing, it was suggested to Southgate that his decision to omit the likes of Lingard, Alli and Walker would be similar to leaving out Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and John Terry during their international careers.
Southgate’s response, however, was telling as he indicated his axed stars still have a long way to go before they can be compared to the aforementioned trio.
‘But I haven’t (left out Lampard, Gerrard and Terry). I know they are more senior players but there is a difference there,’ said Southgate.
Southgate, as revealed by Sportsmail earlier this week, handed Abraham an international recall and club team-mate Tomori his first call-up as the squad continues to evolve at a rapid pace.
Man City’s Walker has missed out at right back to Kieran Trippier and Trent Alexander-Arnold
Indeed, only 11 players named in Thursday’s party were involved at World Cup 2018.
‘Am I surprised there’s only 11 from the World Cup in the squad? Yes, a little bit,’ added Southgate. ‘Obviously, we had people like Jamie Vardy and Ashley Young, who did a brilliant job, and Gary Cahill in a different way.
‘We knew that we’d managed to get a team together that was a mix of youth and experience and we got the balance and formation right for that moment.
‘But now we want to bring through some of the exciting young players that we’re seeing.
‘We’re still conscious of the balance — they’re still a young group, and they need to get caps and they need to get games under pressure into them.
‘We decided to do that for the Nations League and we’re now doing that in competitive matches here. So that is quite a big shift.’
Southgate will be quietly confident the Three Lions can seal qualification for Euro 2020