Monday 24 September 2018

Jack Grealish on Roy Hodgson radar as uncapped trio called up for England squad to face Ireland

England manager Roy Hodgson during a press conference at Wembley Stadium, London
England manager Roy Hodgson during a press conference at Wembley Stadium, London

Uncapped trio Tom Heaton, Jamie Vardy and Charlie Austin have been called up to the England squad for the first time.

Austin has scored 17 goals for QPR this season and Vardy has hit decent form for Leicester, scoring three times in his last nine games to help the Foxes complete their unlikely escape from relegation.

Heaton has performed well for Burnley this term even though they were relegated from the top flight two weeks ago

They now have a chance to make their international debuts in the friendly against the Republic of Ireland on June 7 or the Euro 2016 qualifier in Slovenia seven days later.

It is perhaps Vardy's inclusion that has caught the eye the most.

With Harry Kane in the Under-21s and Daniel Sturridge out through injury, manager Roy Hodgson has turned to the striker who was playing non-league football with Fleetwood three seasons ago

The 28-year-old scored in Leicester's famous 5-3 win over Manchester United in September but then went six months without scoring before reaching form at the crucial time for Leicester, who secured their top-flight status last week.

Danny Welbeck is included despite concerns over his knee injury and Wayne Rooney is selected even though he missed Manchester United's draw against Arsenal last week with a dead leg.

Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been left out because of hamstring and groin issues.

Hodgson has opted against calling-up Ashley Young despite the winger's excellent recent form for Manchester United.

The England manager has retained Tottenham midfielder Ryan Mason, who made his debut against Italy in March, and Southampton's Ryan Bertrand keeps his place in the squad as Everton's Leighton Baines is injured.

Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph keeps his place and is likely to feature in the double-header as Michael Carrick is absent with a calf injury.

Raheem Sterling, whose future has become the source of much debate recently, is included in the 24-man party.

England squad to face the Republic of Ireland on June 7 and Slovenia on June 14

Green (QPR), Hart (Man City), Heaton (Burnley); Bertrand (Southampton), Cahill (Chelsea), Clyne (Southampton), Gibbs (Arsenal), Jagielka (Everton), Jones (Man Utd), Smalling (Man Utd); Barkley (Everton), Delph (Aston Villa), Henderson (Liverpool), Lallana (Liverpool), Mason (Tottenham), Milner (Man City), Sterling (Liverpool), Townsend (Tottenham), Walcott (Arsenal), Wilshere (Arsenal); Charlie Austin (QPR), Rooney (Man Utd), Vardy (Leicester), Welbeck (Arsenal).

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