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England squad for World Cup 2018: Gareth Southgate confirms his 23-man squad for Russia

Gareth Southgate has named his England squad for the World Cup in Russia this summer.
As expected both Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere miss out, while Liverpool youngster Trent Alexander-Arnold is given his chance. 
Chelsea captain Gary Cahill, who was left out of the squad for the last set of friendlies, is recalled while Fabian Delph and Ashley Young also make the plane.
England begin their preparations with two friendlies, firstly against Nigeria before facing Costa Rica at Elland Road. They begin their World Cup campaign against Tunisia on May 18.

Here is the England World Cup squad in full…

Player Club Age Caps Goals
Jordan Pickford Everton 24 2 0
Jack Butland Stoke 25 7 0
Nick Pope Burnley 26 0 0
Phil Jones Manchester United 26 24 0
John Stones Manchester City 23 24 0
Harry Maguire Leicester 25 4 0
Gary Cahill Chelsea 32 58 4
Kyle Walker Manchester City 27 34 0
Kieran Trippier Tottenham 27 5 0
Trent Alexander-Arnold Liverpool 19 0 0
Ashley Young Manchester United 32 33 7
Danny Rose Tottenham 27 16 0
Eric Dier Tottenham 24 25 3
Ruben Loftus-Cheek Chelsea 22 2 0
Jordan Henderson Liverpool 27 38 0
Fabian Delph Manchester City 28 9 0
Dele Alli Tottenham 22 23 2
Jesse Lingard Manchester United 25 10 1
Raheem Sterling Manchester City 23 37 2
Harry Kane Tottenham 24 23 12
Jamie Vardy Leicester 31 21 7
Marcus Rashford Manchester United 20 17 2
Danny Welbeck Arsenal 27 37 15

 Pictures | England 2018 World Cup Squad

What the manager  says 

Southgate is pleased with the squad he has put togethe

“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.”
Southgate has also revealed how impressed he has been by Alexander-Arnold, whose maturity and attacking play have stood out.
He said: “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.”


Standard Sport’s World Cup correspondents were each tasked with selecting their England squads for this summer, so how do they differ from Southgate’s?

Photo: Olly Greenwood/AFP/Getty Images

James Olley

Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland, Joe Hart
Defenders: John Stones, Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, Ashley Young, Chris Smalling, Danny Rose, Harry Maguire, Gary Cahill
Midfielders: Raheem Sterling, Eric Dier, Jordan Henderson, Dele Alli, Jesse Lingard, Jack Wilshere, Fabian Delph, Adam Lallana, Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Forwards: Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy, Marcus Rashford

England have been painfully predictable at previous tournaments and so Gareth Southgate’s plan to name a squad with pace and tactical variety is both logical and progressive. There are a lot of young and relatively inexperienced players in key positions, however, and so my squad is laced with a few older heads to provide support during the intensity of a World Cup. 
Chris Smalling is unlikely to make it into Southgate’s selection but he has been one of Manchester United’s more consistent performers in a team with the second best defensive record in the Premier League. The same is true of Ashley Young.
Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold deserves a call-up if Kieran Trippier’s availability is in serious doubt.
Fabian Delph only makes it in because of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s knee injury while a gamble is taken on the fitness of Jack Wilshere and Adam Lallana after limited game-time in recent weeks.
It would normally feel uncomfortable to pick only three strikers but given Southgate’s preferred 3-4-3/3-4-2-1 system, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Jesse Lingard are among the midfielders capable of playing as supplementary forwards behind Harry Kane.

Photo: Getty Images

Simon Johnson

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart, Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland
Defenders: John Stones, Gary Cahill, Ryan Bertrand, Kyle Walker, Harry Maguire, Kieran Trippier, Danny Rose, Ryan Sessegnon
Midfielders: Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jack Wilshere, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Raheem Sterling, Jesse Lingard, Jordan Henderson, Ashley Young
Forwards: Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Jamie Vardy, Danny Welbeck

The majority of my squad is stating the obvious, but some decisions still need an explanation. Gary Cahill was left out in March, however he has returned to form for Chelsea and England need his experience in the camp. Danny Rose may not have played regularly for Spurs this term and has question marks over his fitness, yet is the country’s best at left back.
Some eyebrows maybe raised at the inclusion of Ryan Sessegnon given he has not even earned a senior cap. However, it’s worth taking the gamble of including such a young talent who clearly has a huge role at this level to come.
On so many occasions a few places are taken up by older individuals who have little chance of being involved, but are there just in case. I believe coach Gareth Southgate can afford to leave one of those characters out in order for Sessegnon, the Championship Player of the Year, to get a taste of a major tournament. The fact he can play wing back or further forward means he covers two positions anyway, which is a real asset. An elder statesman Ashley Young, who can do the same, is there for extra cover.
With Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ruled out through injury, England’s midfield need the creativity Jack Wilshere and Ruben Loftus-Cheek can bring. While Southgate is a huge admirer, Adam Lallana has played too little at Liverpool to warrant selection in such a key position.
As Eric Dier and Kyle Walker can play in a back three, that leaves room to include another forward. Danny Welbeck has not exactly impressed for Arsenal, but his work-rate and ability to play on the left gives him the edge.

Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Dan Kilpatrick

Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland, Nick Pope
Defenders: Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, Danny Rose, Ashley Young, John Stones, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Gary Cahill
Midfielders: Eric Dier, Jordan Henderson, Jack Wilshere, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Adam Lallana, Dele Alli, Jesse Lingard, Raheem Sterling, Jadon Sancho
Forwards: Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Jamie Vardy

Everyone loves a wildcard and Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho is my pick ahead of Ryan Sessegnon because he has top-flight experience, albeit in Germany. Gary Cahill is a surprise choice at centre-half because he has won everything and, well, who else is there? The Chelsea man’s experience will be useful because Joe Hart is nowhere near my squad after an error-strewn season. In another nod to experience, Ashley Young would be my other left wing-back ahead of Ryan Bertrand, who is less suited to a 3-5-2-1 system.
Jack Wilshere is a must for the squad because England desperately need a midfielder who can keep and pass the ball and, for the same reason, I would take a punt on Adam Lallana’s fitness – especially since Harry Winks and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain miss out.
I’m still not sure what Danny Welbeck does, so he is out, along with Jake Livermore, who has been questionable on and off the pitch (Taxi-gate) this season. Ruben Loftus-Cheek has looked comfortable at international level, however. It is probably too soon for Sessegnon, Ademola Lookman, Mason Mount, Lewis Cook and Trent Alexander-Arnold but I would include all five on the standby list because, frankly, the alternatives are not inspiring and one might prove undroppable during the warm-ups.

Photo: Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Vaishali Bhardwaj

Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland, Joe Hart
Defenders: Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ryan Bertrand, Danny Rose, Eric Dier, John Stones, Phil Jones, Gary Cahill
Midfielders: Jordan Henderson, Jack Wilshere, Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling, Jesse Lingard, Fabian Delph, Ashley Young, Adam Lallana
Forwards: Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy, Marcus Rashford

In goal, Fraser Forster and Tom Heaton are likely to miss out given their lack of game time and injuries respectively.
In defence, Nathaniel Clyne’s recent return from injury, Luke Shaw’s lack of regular game time at Manchester United along with Joe Gomez’s injury means they will miss out as may Chris Smalling.
But Trent Alexander-Arnold’s standout season at Liverpool should see him make the cut along with Gary Cahill who, despite not having been a regular at Chelsea this season, has won his place back in Antonio Conte’s team with some solid displays in a different position.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s injury means he won’t be going to the World Cup while Danny Drinkwater and Ross Barkley haven’t played enough at Chelsea to warrant inclusion. Jonjo Shelvey would provide much-needed creativity in midfield for England but his last cap came in 2015, making it unlikely he could be on the plane to Russia.
Up front, and Daniel Sturridge hasn’t played enough this season to be included in the team while Andy Carroll’s recent return from injury should see Marcus Rashford pip him into the squad. 

Photo: Getty Images

Jack Rosser

Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland, Joe Hart
Defenders: Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, John Stones, Gary Cahill, Ryan Bertrand, Danny Rose
Midfielders: Jordan Henderson, Eric Dier, James Ward-Prowse, Dele Alli, Adam Lallana, Jesse Lingard, Jack Wilshere, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Raheem Sterling
Forwards: Jamie Vardy, Marcus Rashford, Harry Kane

Looking back a few months ago, there were no real problem areas in this squad. Now, come the end of the season and a few more injuries, a final 23 becomes far harder to pick.
Central midfield remains the main hole in the squad, with few options to keep things tight from a defensive perspective. Jake Livermore has been the choice in recent squads, but having just been relegated following a season of disarray at West Brom, he’s probably not in the best place to go to a World Cup.
Up step James Ward-Prowse. The midfielder has played less football than he would have liked this season but with the experience of captaining a successful Under-21s side under Southgate and he can be his bastion again.
At the back it was a choice between Phil Jones and Chris Smalling for one of the four central slots. Both make me nervous but, on recent performances. I would rather see Jones in the side, while Gary Cahill may not get too many minutes but will provide invaluable experience to the younger members of the squad.
Adam Lallana and Jack Wilshere have been in and out of their respective sides in the final weeks of the season but both have the ability to change games in a flash when called upon, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek has continued to impress following his return from injury.

John Dillon

Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland, Joe Hart
Defenders: Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, John Stones, Gary Cahill, Harry Maguire, Eric Dier, Ashley Young, Ryan Bertrand
Midfielders: Dele Alli, Jesse Lingard, Raheem Sterling, Jack Wilshere, Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, Fabian Delph, Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Forwards: Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy, Marcus Rashford, Danny Welbeck

Gareth Southgate’s options beyond his starting line-up are thin – and England followers have spent a long time hoping Jack Wilshere can be the man to give the side a creative spark. It hasn’t really happened. But in the absence of anyone else with his sense of vision, footballing “geometry” and mischief, he is worth having in the squad if only to give it an extra dimension.
Danny Welbeck is an unfulfilled talent, too. But with 15 goals in 37 international appearances, there is a vague hope that he could called on to freshen up the attack if required.
Manchester United are said to be ready to offload the defensive pairing of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones this summer. In truth, foreign managers at club level have rarely been impressed with English central defenders beyond John Terry in recent years. Southgate thinks Smalling is not comfortable enough on the ball and at top level, he often looks uncertain. Jones is a robust defender but he has been so injury prone over the years that he’s a risk in any squad.  Gary Cahill, just for his experience and his older head, is a better alternative.
I’m hoping that Jesse Lingard’s ebullient spirit will be able to make a difference in Russia. He plays with a smile. Tournaments with England can be dour experiences. Lingard may help change that.

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