• February 5, 2023

Jesse Lingard, Luke Shaw and John Stones return to England squad

Stones, Lingard and Shaw have seen a resurgence in form this season

England boss Gareth Southgate added Jesse Lingard, Luke Shaw and John Stones to his squad for 2022 World Cup qualifiers later this month.

Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins and West Brom keeper Sam Johnstone were also called up for the first time.

Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold was not included in the 26-man squad.

England will play at home against San Marino on March 25th, will be in Albania on March 28th and host Poland on March 31st.

Midfielder Lingard, on loan at West Ham from Manchester United, last played for the national team in June 2019.

“Jesse of the three is a little luckier,” said Southgate. “Luke and John played for a period of time.

“We have injuries in the attacking areas that gave Jesse a chance, but I have to say his performance for West Ham has been excellent.

“Ideally, you’d say you have to do it a little longer, but this time it wasn’t the option.”

The 17-year-old Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham is in the squad but could be out in Germany due to coronavirus restrictions.

“We’re still investigating what’s possible and wanted to put him on the roster,” Southgate said.

Bellingham’s teammate Jadon Sancho is out due to injury, as are midfielders Jordan Henderson and Jack Grealish and goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

Manchester City center-back Stones has not played for England since November 2019, while Manchester United left-back Shaw’s last game for the national team was in September 2018.

Stones, who play 39 caps, have pushed Manchester City to the top of the Premier League this season, while his side also play in the Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup to quadruple.

“It’s a big plus for us,” said Southgate. “John has played a lot of internationals for us. For a while we weren’t sure if he could return to that form.

“When you put so much time and so many internationals into players like that and he disappears, it’s a big disappointment.

“John deserves great credit for turning that around and finding some level of consistency. It’s great to have him back.”

On Shaw’s recall, Southgate added, “We talk a lot about the impact coaches and managers have on players, but we have to give players a lot of credit.

“In Luke’s case, he was defending on the forefoot. He’s been aggressive in his defense and shows great ambition in his attacking game. We know he has the quality to do that.”

“He earned his chance and deserves to be there.”

Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford, who has scored 13 Premier League goals this season, missed that but Southgate said he was “very close” to being selected.

Instead, the English boss chose Watkins, who scored 10 league goals in his first top season.

“There are a number of positions in this squad that have had some very close calls. We felt we wanted an extra striker,” added Southgate.

“Both Ollie and Patrick, their goals were good. We like the personalities of both of them. Ollie is a player we have had less contact with in the past. It will be good to get to know him.”

“We like the push, the speed and the lag. He needs to make some improvements in linking the game, but for his first season in the Premier League with a big club he has done exceptionally well.”

Liverpool have had problems defending their title this season and right-back Alexander-Arnold has suffered as well.

“I don’t think he has played at the level he has found in recent years but I think he is getting close,” said Southgate. “He has taken steps in the right direction.

“I called Kyle the same way [Walker] and Kieran [Trippier] in the past and their response has been good. I am sure that Trent will play a big role in the future. “

England squad:

Goalkeeper: Dean Henderson (Manchester United), Sam Johnstone (West Brom) and Nick Pope (Burnley).

Defender: Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Conor Coady (Wolves), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Reece James (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City )), Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid), Kyle Walker (Manchester City).

Midfield player: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jesse Lingard (West Ham, on loan from Manchester United), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds), Declan Rice (West Ham), James Ward-Prowse ( Southampton).

Forward: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa).

Jack

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