Sport

England boss Gareth Southgate 'excited' about squad

England boss Gareth Southgate 'excited' about squad

Jones' club-mate Ashley Young may get the nod over Tottenham's Danny Rose for the left wing-back spot against Tunisia, with Kieran Trippier lining up outside Walker on the right.

At just 19 years of age, Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold is one of those bringing the average age down.

Liverpool's Adam Lallana is in contention despite an injury-ravaged season.

While there weren't too many surprises, the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill and Fabian Delph probably didn't expect to answer their phone to the Three Lions manager come Wednesday afternoon.

A year ago, Gary Cahill was lifting the Premier League trophy and considered a near-certain starter for England.

"I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about", he said. "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 Russian Federation".

'We have a lot of energy and athleticism in the team, but players that are equally comfortable in possession and I think people can see the style of play we've been looking to develop'. We've got this plethora of young talent coming through and it's a bit premature to expect them to perform brilliantly.

Injuries meant their Reds teammates Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez were unavailable for selection.

Gary Cahill was left out of Southgate's previous squad, but his seven appearances at major worldwide tournaments provides much-needed experience.

The England boss is due to hold a media conference today. We have got some great young players.

Based on individual performances alone, it could be argued that the 24-year-old defender and his 26-year-old midfield counterpart deserve to be on the plane to Russian Federation ahead of the likes of Chelsea's Gary Cahill, Manchester United's Phil Jones, Liverpool's Jordan Henderson and Crystal Palace loanee Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

The only member of the group to have reached a half-century of caps, the Dronfield-born Chelsea skipper's experience will be invaluable.

He will be joined by Jack Butland, whose domestic season ended in Premier League relegation with Stoke City, and Burnley's Nick Pope.

Southgate's number one goalkeeping choice for Russian Federation is sure to be broached on Thursday morning, along with questions on the captaincy and composition of his stand-by list.

Hart, who has been England's first choice goalkeeper for the last three major tournaments, was backed by Southgate after being deemed surplus to requirements by Pep Guardiola at City as the 31-year-old remained first choice during England's unbeaten qualifying campaign.

"All of the guys on standby have been really professional".


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