Harry Maguire has made the England World Cup squad as Gareth Southgate showed faith in the Manchester United captain who has spent more time on the bench than usual this season.
The defender has faced a barrage of criticisms for his displays this term and was touted not to make the cut for Qatar. But Southgate listed the former Leicester City man in the Three Lions’ team aiming to surpass their semi-final finish four years ago.
But AC Milan strongman Fikayo Tomori was not named in the 26-man squad despite a strong showing in Italy. Roma forward Tammy Abraham was also overlooked by the manager for the Middle East football party. The former Chelsea man has struggled for goals this season.
The manager, in the list released on Thursday, however, rewarded James Maddison with a call-up following his scintillating form for Leicester City in the Premier League.
Maddison has only one senior cap, back in 2019 and has previously been overlooked by Southgate.
However, the Italian Serie A duo of Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori were ignored by Southgate whose only non-Premier League inclusion is Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham.
Manchester City duo Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips are included despite fitness concerns.
But of the players available to the England boss, only Harry Kane has scored and assisted more Premier League goals in 2022 than the Foxes midfielder.
The absence of Chelsea right-back Reece James means Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold will go to Qatar despite concerns over his defensive abilities.
Conor Gallagher is another surprise selection in midfield with Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse omitted.
Up front, Callum Wilson was selected ahead of Ivan Toney and Tammy Abraham to be Kane’s deputy.
England begin their World Cup campaign against Iran on November 21 before facing the USA and Wales in Group B.
England World Cup Squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Newcastle), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)
Defenders: Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw (both Manchester United), Eric Dier (Tottenham), John Stones, Kyle Walker (both Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), Conor Coady (Everton), Ben White (Arsenal), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund/GER), Mason Mount, Conor Gallagher (both Chelsea), Declan Rice (West Ham), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City)
Forwards: James Maddison (Leicester), Phil Foden, Jack Grealish (both Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Chelsea), Callum Wilson (Newcastle), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)