Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have been selected in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England squad for the 2018 World Cup, with Adam Lallana on standby.
Uncapped Liverpool right-back Alexander-Arnold, 19, has made just three appearances for England’s U21s with this his first senior call-up.
After impressing on loan at Crystal Palace, Chelsea midfielder Loftus-Cheek, 22, is included having played two times for England’s senior side – both of those appearances coming under Southgate.
Former England captain Gary Cahill, who has struggled for game time at Chelsea this season, will be going to Russia despite being left out of Southgate’s previous squad for the games against the Netherlands and Italy.
Southgate, who has named England’s third youngest squad for a World Cup (26 years 18 days), told thefa.com: I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about.
It is a young group, but with some really important senior players so I feel the balance of the squad is good, both in terms of its experience, its character and also the positional balance.
We have a lot of energy and athleticism in the team, but players that are equally comfortable in possession of the ball and I think people can see the style of play we’ve been looking to develop.
The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks. We feel the team are improving and we want to continue that momentum.
The first call-up for Trent Alexander-Arnold is well deserved. When we pick young players, it’s not just because they are young, it’s because their performances deserve it.
Southgate has also named a five-man standby list which includes Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana, who has made just one appearance since the start of April.
Lallana is joined by Burnley pair Tom Heaton and James Tarkowski, Bournemouth’s Lewis Cook and West Brom’s Jake Livermore.
Tottenham, who finished third in the Premier League, are the best-represented club in the squad with five players including Danny Rose, Kieran Trippier, Eric Dier, Dele Alli and Harry Kane.
Premier League champions Manchester City and runners-up Manchester United both have four representatives.
Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope has been preferred ahead of Joe Hart with the 26-year-old selected alongside Jordan Pickford and Jack Butland.
Other notable omissions from the squad include midfielder Jack Wilshere, Southampton left-back Ryan Bertrand and Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey.
The squad will meet up on Monday at St. George’s Park although players from FA Cup finalists Manchester United and Chelsea, and Champions League finalists Liverpool will not be present.
United and Chelsea players will join the squad on May 26 while those from Liverpool will train with England after the Nigeria friendly.
England will play two matches before travelling to Russia on June 2 against Nigeria at Wembley and on June 7 against Costa Rica at Elland Road.
The World Cup then starts on June 14 with England’s first group game against Tunisia on June 18 in Volgograd, before facing Panama on June 24 in Nizhny Novgorod with their final group game in Kaliningrad on June 28 against Belgium.
England World Cup Squad
Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland, Nick Pope
Defenders: Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ashley Young, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Kieran Trippier
Midfielders: Jordan Henderson, Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jesse Lingard, Raheem Sterling, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Fabian Delph
Forwards: Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy, Marcus Rashford, Danny Welbeck
Standby: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana