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Thursday 15 November 2018

Uncapped Trent makes World Cup squad

NOD: Alexander-Arnold. Pic: Getty Images
NOD: Alexander-Arnold. Pic: Getty Images

Gareth Southgate has named a bold World Cup squad focused on promise rather than experience.

Uncapped Trent Alexander-Arnold is celebrating a maiden England call-up but Adam Lallana, Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere miss out.

After months of speculation, scrutiny and conjecture, the 23 men charged with bringing the country success in Russia were revealed yesterday afternoon, along with the five-strong stand-by list for the tournament.

England's joint second-most capped goalkeeper Hart was excluded from both lists as were Arsenal midfielder Wilshere and Southampton left-back Ryan Bertrand - but Lallana provided the biggest shock.

While the Liverpool attacking midfielder has not started a Premier League match since New Year's Day, he is a favourite of Southgate. However, his lack of fitness means he has to settle with a stand-by place alongside Jake Livermore, Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook.

Gary Cahill received a surprise reprieve having been excluded from March's squad - the only member of the group to have reached a half-century of caps.

But the most striking inclusion is uncapped teenager Alexander-Arnold.

An impressive performer in Liverpool's run to the Champions League final, the 19-year-old briefly trained with Southgate's side in March and has now been named in the senior squad for the first time.

The other uncapped squad member is Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope, having been selected ahead of 75-cap Hart to take the third spot behind Jordan Pickford and Jack Butland.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek was rewarded for his fine form and versatile Fabian Delph came in after winning the title at Manchester City, despite last playing for his country in November 2015.

Ashley Young, rejuvenated at Manchester United, joined Danny Rose as left-back options instead of Bertrand, who will feel hard done by considering he played a key role for Southgate.

ENGLAND WORLD CUP SQUAD

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).

Stand-by list: Heaton (Burnley), Tarkowski (Burnley), L Cook (Bournemouth), Livermore (West Brom), Lallana (Liverpool).

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