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THREE LIONS

The players everyone wanted to see have just been called up to the England squad

Gareth Southgate has named his 23-man squad to face Croatia and Spain in the UEFA Nations League

It’s back again.

As a nation we’re still dusting ourselves down from the World Cup adventure and trying to get our heads around the UEFA Nations League.

England’s inaugural game in the new competition ended in a controversial defeat to Spain and now we do it all again with two more fixtures.


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Everyone knows the referee bottled it

EPA
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Everyone knows the referee bottled it

A chance for redemption against Croatia awaits on Friday October 12th before a rematch with Luis Enrique’s side on Monday 15th.

Gareth Southgate has just been rewarded with a contract extension which will take him through to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

What better way to celebrate than naming his most exciting squad to date.

Here’s the squad in full:

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Naturally, many of the characters who we fell in love with over the summer have retained their place in the squad.

Of the crop from the last squad to face Spain and Switzerland five players drop out.

Dele Alli misses out through injury and Adam Lallana is absent for the same reason.

Fitness worries over both Jesse Lingard and Fabian Delph mean they also fail to make the cut.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is omitted after struggling to get anywhere near the Chelsea team in recent weeks.

A favourite of Southgate but not Maurizio Sarri

Reuters
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A favourite of Southgate but not Maurizio Sarri

There is a clear nod to the future in Southgate’s latest master-plan.

Jadon Sancho has got his long-overdue call-up having impressed for Borussia Dortmund.

About time

EPA
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About time

The 18-year-old is currently the top assist-maker in Europe this season and will add outrageous flair to England’s attack.

James Maddison is another who has rightly been rewarded with a taste of international football.

Leicester’s No10 has been one of the Premier League’s standout performers and looks every-part a ‘Southgate player.’

Sliding into the Three Lions squad like

Getty - Contributor
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Sliding into the Three Lions squad like

Derby’s on-loan Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount is another surprise inclusion.

The 19-year-old has impressed under Frank Lampard this season and since become a stalwart in the U21 squad.

Southgate was in the stands to watch Derby’s Carabao Cup victory Man United when Mount ran the show.

Is he ready?

Reuters
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Is he ready?

Fulham’s Marcus Bettinelli also earns another call-up after he was drafted into the last squad as a late addition.

Southgate’s decision to pick four goalkeepers is set to be a controversial one.

Nathaniel Chalobah surprisingly gets the nod despite playing just four-minutes in the Premier League this season.

Injuries have stunted his development

Getty - Contributor
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Injuries have stunted his development

Harry Winks has also earned a recall after fighting his way back from injury and impressing for Spurs since his return.

It isn’t all been about the new kids on the block. Southgate is clearly a #throwbackThursday fan too.

We’ve been given a blast from the past as Ross Barkley makes his way back into the squad.

Road to redemption

Getty - Contributor
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Road to redemption

The Chelsea man is reinventing himself this season and has been rewarded with his first call-up in over two years.

Those who can feel aggrieved to miss out include Daniel Sturridge and Will Hughes.

Phil Foden is another player who England fans will have to wait a while longer to see in action for the Three Lions.

Southgate clearly feels it’s still too early to blood the Man City youngster into the senior set-up.

One for the future

PA:Empics Sport
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One for the future

In Gareth, we trust.


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