Three lions ready to roar: Gareth Southgate 's England World Cup squad for Qatar 2022

10 November 2022, 14:11 | Updated: 10 November 2022, 16:15

Gareth Southgate has made his selection for the World Cup
Gareth Southgate has made his selection for the World Cup. Picture: Getty

By Kit Heren

James Maddison and Ben Wilson are among the more eye-catching inclusions in England's World Cup squad for Qatar.

Manager Gareth Southgate announced the final 26-man squad on Thursday afternoon for the tournament, which launches next Friday (November 20).

Supporters were clamouring for in-form Leicester attacking midfielder James Maddison to be given a place in the squad, despite his only appearance for the senior national side coming in 2019.

His inclusion met with approval from England legend and former Leicester striker Gary Lineker, who said that Maddison "is the best example of forcing yourself into a squad at the very last, by the sheer brilliance of your performances."

James Maddison making his only appearance for England so far
James Maddison making his only appearance for England so far. Picture: Getty

Newcastle striker Callum Wilson has also been in good form this season, but was also last included in an England squad three years ago.

Meanwhile some fans will be surprised to see Marcus Rashford included in the squad, given he has not played for England since his penalty miss in the Euros final last summer, which was followed by a drop in form.

Marcus Rashford has not played for England since missing a penalty in the Euros final defeat last summer
Marcus Rashford has not played for England since missing a penalty in the Euros final defeat last summer. Picture: Getty

The Manchester United forward has been back to something like his best in recent weeks, and beats his club-mate Jadon Sancho to a place in the squad.

Others who can consider themselves unfortunate to have missed out include AC Milan defender Fikayo Tomori, Roma striker Tammy Abraham, Brentford forward Ivan Toney, Liverpool defender Joe Gomez and Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse.

Brentford striker Ivan Toney was among those to miss out
Brentford striker Ivan Toney was among those to miss out. Picture: Getty

The full squad is below, along with players' club sides.

Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford ( Everton ), Nick Pope (Newcastle), Aaron Ramsdale ( Arsenal )

Defenders: Harry Maguire (Man Utd), John Stones (Man City), Kyle Walker (Man City), Luke Shaw (Man Utd), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), Trent Alexander-Arnold ( Liverpool ), Eric Dier ( Tottenham ), Conor Coady (Everton), Ben White (Arsenal)

Midfielders: Declan Rice ( West Ham ), Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Mason Mount ( Chelsea ), Kalvin Phillips (Man City), James Maddison ( Leicester ), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea)

Attackers: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Phil Foden (Man City), Raheem Sterling (Chelsea), Marcus Rashford (Man Utd), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Jack Grealish (Man City), Callum Wilson (Newcastle)

Gareth Southgate said England have a "balanced" squad
Gareth Southgate said England have a "balanced" squad. Picture: Getty

Speaking at England's St George's Park training base, Southgate said the squad was well-balanced.

"You want different options for different stages of matches and for different stages for the tournament as well," he told reporters.

"We think the balance is there. We've got cover in positions that we need. We think we've got everything we need."

He added: "We're excited by the group. We think there's a lot of talent within it.

"But the group has to come together. We've got to adapt better than anybody else in the coming period."

Gareth Southgate and captain Harry Kane walk off after losing the Euro 2020 final
Gareth Southgate and captain Harry Kane walk off after losing the Euro 2020 final. Picture: Getty

The manager said that Maddison "can give us something slightly different to the other attacking players".

He added: "I think at various stages there have been conversations, debates about James - there's been moments where ahead of the Euros I don't think he was in contention and (in) September was probably a fair debate, but I think he's playing as well as any of the attacking players in this country."

Asked about the omission of striker Abraham, Southgate said: "Tammy has had a poor run of scoring form at the wrong time basically."

England's first group game is against Iran on November 21, followed by the US on November 25 and Wales on November 29.

Caller who used to live in Qatar tells LBC she 'couldn't stand it'

Qatar has been a controversial choice for the World Cup because of its stance on workers' rights and homosexuality.

Southgate was criticised last week for saying stadium builders - thousands of whom are thought to have died during construction - are "united" in their desire for the World Cup to come to the country.

Education Secretary says UK does not agree with Qatar values on homosexuality

This week the Qatari World Cup ambassador called homosexuality "damage in the mind", adding that gay visitors to the Gulf state will have to "accept our rules".

Read more: Gareth Southgate slammed for claiming Qatar workers "united" in wanting World Cup

Read more: Homosexuality is 'damage in the mind' and gay visitors 'have to accept our rules', Qatar's World Cup ambassador says

Asked on Thursday if England would be keeping quiet on social issues during the tournament, Southgate told reporters: "I think that's unlikely. We've always spoken about issues, particularly ones we can affect.

"On the human right's challenges, we have been very clear on that."

He added: ""We stand for inclusivity and we stand very, very strongly on that. If it wasn't for the strength of that community, we wouldn't be women's European champions."

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