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Wayne Rooney and Nathaniel Chalobah in line for England call-up for World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia

Ex-Three Lions captain Rooney pushing for international recall while Gareth Southgate is closely monitoring form of Watford midfield ace Chalobah

Wayne Rooney is in contention for a stunning return to the England squad.

Everton star Rooney was axed by Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate last season after losing his way at Manchester United.

Wayne Rooney is in contention for a recall to the England squad

Rex Features
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Wayne Rooney is in contention for a recall to the England squad

But the striker has settled in well since re-joining his boyhood side and his form in pre-season coupled with his displays in the opening four games of the campaign have catapulted him back into the mix for a recall.

And the veteran could be joined in the senior squad by Watford midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah as Southgate looks to add more quality to the centre of his side.

Rooney found himself eased out of the international scene by Southgate once he took over as England boss last season.

Rooney scored his first goal since rejoining Everton when he headed the winner past Jack Butland

Reuters
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Rooney scored his first goal since rejoining Everton when he headed the winner past Jack Butland

His form had dipped to such an extent at United he was rarely given a first team opportunity by boss Jose Mourinho.

And one of the major concerns has been that the 31-year-old needed a run of games to gain full fitness and start to look like the player of old.

His move to Everton has given him that opportunity, and Rooney has started the new season looking sharper and livelier than he has done for the past couple of seasons.

Watford midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah is another who is in line for an England chance

Rex Features
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Watford midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah is another who is in line for an England chance

Southgate knows making the call to include England’s record goalscorer in his squad for next month’s World Cup qualifiers brings added baggage.

But he has insisted he will pick players on merit, and will watch the striker in action against Manchester City to see first hand how good he is playing.

With Jermain Defoe not starting the season at Bournemouth in the side, only Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy can be considered automatic selections for the matches against Malta and Slovakia.

That gives Rooney an opportunity to force his way back into the squad an keep alive his dreams of playing in one last World Cup in Russia next summer.


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