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Gareth Southgate names two new faces in England squad to play Malta and Slovakia

Gareth Southgate has announced his squad for England's World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia

Here it is then, the first England squad of the post-Rooney world.

Gareth Southgate had wanted to recall the Three Lions’ all-time top scorer for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.


However, Rooney decided the might of Malta and Slovakia was too much to take on and officially announced his retirement from international football yesterday.

Thanks for the memories, Wayne.

Wayne Rooney led the England team out as captain 22 times

Getty Images
Farewell sweet prince

The first-time inclusions in the England gaffer’s squad are Nathaniel Chalobah and Harry Maguire.

The 22-year-old Watford midfielder has impressed for England Under-21s while Leicester’s new centre-back may turn out to be the signing of the summer.

Joe Hart’s shaky form may see uncapped Jordan Pickford selected as first-choice having previously been named in England squads.

Here’s the squad in full…

England travel to Malta on Friday 1 September before playing host to Slovakia at Mauricio Pochettino’s Wembley on the Monday.

Southgate’s troops are top of Qualifying Group F with 14 points from four wins and two draws.

Slovakia are currently in second place with 12 points and will be hoping to avoid defeat at Wembley to give themselves a chance of topping the group.

As for Malta, they’ve lost all six of their qualifiers so far, conceding 15 goals in the process.

England couldn’t slip up, could they?

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