England boss Roy Hodgson said West Bromwich Albion striker Saido Berahino could have been in his last squad, had England Under-21s not needed him for their vital clashes with Croatia last month.
Berahino has been in good form for the Baggies this season, scoring seven goals in 10 Premler League matches.
And the Burundi-born 21-year-old has been rewarded by Hodgson, who has included him in the squad for England’s upcoming games against Slovenia and Scotland.
Michael Carrick and Stewart Downing were the other surprise inclusions.
Manchester United midfield ace Carrick was left out of Hodgson’s World Cup squad and has only just returned from an ankle injury he suffered in the summer.
Downing, whose last cap came in May 2012, has earned a recall after impressing for West Ham this term.
Wayne Rooney was included in the 26-man party, which means he is likely to earn his 100th cap against Slovenia at Wembley a week on Saturday.
Hodgson said he was delighted to have included Berahino. “The reasons are quite obvious – he’s done so well, not only for WBA but also for the Under-21 team,” the Three Lions boss said.
“The last get-together he was obviously in our minds but we didn’t choose him because of the importance of the two Under-21 qualifiers.”
SQUAD: Forster, Foster, Hart; Baines, Cahill, Chambers, Clyne, Gibbs, Jagielka, Shaw, Smalling; Barkley, Carrick, Downing, Henderson, Lallana, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sterling, Townsend, Wilshere, Walcott; Lambert, Rooney, Welbeck, Berahino