ENGLAND omitted Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere from its World Cup squad on Wednesday and called up Trent Alexander-Arnold to cap a remarkable breakthrough season for the 19-year-old right back.
England coach Gareth Southgate stuck to his principles and selected a young, energetic and flexible group of 23 players who can fit a variety of formations but will be short of experience at major tournaments.
Hart was England’s first-choice goalkeeper at the last World Cup and the two most recent European Championships, and was Southgate’s No. 1 only five months ago.
However, he has fallen behind Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope after making errors and losing his place during a loan spell at West Ham from Manchester City.
Wilshere last played for England in one of the country’s most humiliating matches, the 2-1 loss to Iceland in the last 16 of Euro 2016, and has had another injury-filled season at Arsenal.
Southgate will instead rely on Jordan Henderson, Eric Dier, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Jesse Lingard, and Fabian Delph as his central midfield options. Delph played mostly as a left back this season for Man City, the Premier League champion. Alexander-Arnold made his senior debut for Liverpool only 17 months ago. Now, he is preparing to mark Cristiano Ronaldo in next week’s Champions League final against Real Madrid and will then head to the World Cup in Russia. The teenager is uncapped, although he was invited to train with England in March.
England’s 23-man squad chosen on Wednesday for the 2018 World Cup:
Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley)
Defenders: Kyle Walker, John Stones (both Manchester City), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Kieran Trippier, Danny Rose (both Tottenham Hotspur), Ashley Young (Manchester United), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
Midfielders: Eric Dier, Dele Alli (both Tottenham Hotspur), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Crystal Palace), Fabian Delph (Manchester City)
Forwards: Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal)