Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Sports | By Sarah Myers

England announce final 23-man squad for 2018 World Cup

England announce final 23-man squad for 2018 World Cup

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

The inclusion of versatile players like Young, Alexander-Arnold and Delph provides options for Southgate, who has tinkered with 4-3-3, 3-4-3 and 3-5-2 formations in his 18 months in the England job and also encourages his team to play out from the back.

Southgate has left goalkeeper Joe Hart and Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere behind.

While the Liverpool attacking midfielder has not started a Premier League match since New Year's Day, he is a favourite of Southgate.

There's no room for any Saints men on the stand-by list either, with Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton picked ahead of McCarthy, despite not playing since September.

The teenager is uncapped, although he was invited to train with England in March.

"On his overall performances over the year, it hasn't been fantastic".

Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley).

Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Fabian Delph were preferred to the Liverpool midfielder who has struggled with injury problems this season.

Bertrand made 40 appearances for Saints this season but Southgate instead selected Tottenham's Danny Rose, who will compete with Manchester United's Ashley Young for the left-back position.

"Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they're not decisions we took lightly", Southgate said.

"The selection process has been over months really, it's not just been the last few weeks".

There can be no escaping the fact that this squad is largely unproven at worldwide level, with the shadow of Euro 2016 and the defeat against Iceland still hanging over the team at a major tournament.

Without any of them, England's squad does look short of a player capable of unpicking a sturdy lock but perhaps Ruben Loftus-Cheek will be the man entrusted to provide some creativity.

He was one of six players aged 23 and under alongside John Stones, Dele Alli, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling and Alexander-Arnold. Harry Maguire is one of the surprise call-ups to the Three Lions squad for Russian Federation.

"All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this".

"I could've had easier conversations by keeping them involved".

Southgate's balance between versatility and ability, as well as fitness and form, will be discussed further at a Wembley press conference on Thursday morning.

Jordan Pickford is expected to be first-choice in Russian Federation after strengthening his case to become England's number one since joining Everton for £30million from Sunderland last summer.

England managers always have a few names on standby with injuries possible between now and the big kick-off in Russian Federation.

CHERRIES star Lewis Cook's World Cup dream is still alive after he was put on standby for next month's finals in Russian Federation.

Should a player become unavailable or withdraw from the squad which begins its summer showings against Tunisia on June 18th, Livermore could be in line to join his England teammates in the tournament.

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