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Saturday, September 18, 2021

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England announce squad for qualifiers

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Harry Maguire

Four Manchester United players have been included in the England squad for September’s FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw, two of the stars of the Three Lions’ run to the Euro 2020 final, have retained their placed in Gareth Southgate’s selection.

Jadon Sancho is also involved after being part of the group of 26 in the summer, although he was still a Borussia Dortmund player then; this is his first involvement as a Red.

Jesse Lingard has regained his place in the squad, after unluckily missing out on the pan-European tournament.

Our no.14 had been selected in an extended group after his late-season exploits on loan at West Ham, but was unfortunately cut, despite featuring in both pre-tournament friendlies.

Jesse, who made his first appearance for the Reds since January when coming off the bench at Southampton at the weekend, is back now though and joins a group of 25.

Marcus Rashford misses out through injury, although he was spotted at Carrington on Wednesday as he continues his recovery from shoulder surgery.

Mason Greenwood has also not been included, despite his strong start to the season.

“He is in our thoughts, very much. I’ve spoken with him and with his club,” Southgate said. “He’s a player we really like and we think he’s got every possibility to be a top England player.

“We’re all very conscious that we make that progression at the right time. He is just breaking into the team at Manchester United with a lot of responsibility. That’s a big thing for a young player to deal with and we want to get that progression with our seniors as well as we possibly can so that we get the best possible player at the end.

“So we’re all aligned on that: Mason, the club, his family, us and we feel at the moment the best thing for him after these first few games is he stays with his club. He’s very much a player we like. It’s clear on his performances at the moment he would warrant being in the squad, absolutely.”

The Three Lions have already won their opening three games in Group I, but face second-placed Hungary in Budapest next Thursday (2 September) in what is likely to be a tough test against a side which held France and Germany to draws at the Euros.

England then welcome Andorra to Wembley on Sunday 5 September, before another trip abroad which entails a meeting with Robert Lewandowski’s Poland in Warsaw on Wednesday 8 September.

The next World Cup takes place in Qatar between November and December 2022, with the qualifiers set to be wrapped up with six further games in October and November this year.

FULL ENGLAND SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Sam Johnstone, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Conor Coady, Reece James, Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings, Luke Shaw, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker

Midfielders: Jude Bellingham, Jordan Henderson, Jesse Lingard, Mason Mount, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice

Forwards: Patrick Bamford, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Jack Grealish, Harry Kane, Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling

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