Gareth Southgate names England World Cup squad

Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold was a surprise inclusion when Gareth Southgate named his England squad for this summer’s World Cup in Russia.

But there was disappointment for keeper Joe Hart and midfielder Jack Wilshere, who missed out on the 23-man squad.

England boss Gareth Southgate

England boss Gareth Southgate

Phil Jones was selected alongside Cahill in defence, but there was no place for his Manchester United team-mate Chris Smalling.

John Stones and Harry Maguire were the other specialist centre-backs, but midfielder Eric Dier can also play there.

The main strikers were Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Jamie Vardy and Danny Welbeck, with further attacking options coming from Jesse Lingard, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

“I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,“ said Southgate.

“It is a young group, but with some really important senior players so I feel the balance of the squad is good, both in terms of its experience, its character and also the positional balance.

“We have a lot of energy and athleticism in the team, but players that are equally comfortable in possession of the ball and I think people can see the style of play we’ve been looking to develop.

“The first call up for Trent Alexander-Arnold is well deserved. When we pick young players, it’s not just because they are young, it’s because their performances deserve it.

“We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.”

However, as with any World Cup squad selection, there have been tough phone calls for Southgate to make, notably with the omission of Hart and Ryan Bertrand, both regulars throughout the qualification campaign.

“Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” he added.

“Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.”

ENGLAND: Butland (Stoke), Pickford (Everton), Pope (Burnley); Jones (Man Utd), Cahill (Chelsea), Walker (Man City), Trippier (Tottenham), Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Rose (Tottenham), Young (Man Utd), Stones (Man City), Maguire (Leicester); Dier (Tottenham), Henderson (Liverpool), Delph (Man City), Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), Lingard (Man Utd), Alli (Tottenham); Kane (Tottenham), Rashford (Man Utd), Vardy (Leicester), Sterling (Man City), Welbeck (Arsenal).

Standby: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore, Adam Lallana.