London (AFP) – England interim manager Gareth Southgate recalled Manchester United duo Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard when he named his first squad in charge of the senior national side on Sunday.
The Old Trafford pair were both included for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovenia.
This was the first England squad since former manager Sam Allardyce dramatically lost his post after just one game in charge following a newspaper sting operation where he made a series of unguarded remarks.
Rashford and Lingard have become first-choice players during Jose Mourinho’s first season as United manager.
Rashford was left out when Allardyce named his one and only England squad, but a return looked likely when he was omitted from the Under-21 party announced earlier this week.
Former England defender Southgate also recalled Stoke’s Glen Johnson, Southampton’s Ryan Bertrand and Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for the matches at home to Malta and away to Slovenia.
Adam Lallana scored the late winner in a 1-0 win against Slovakia, the only goal England managed under Allardyce, but was ruled out of the forthcoming double header after injuring his groin against Swansea on Saturday.
His absence created room for Oxlade-Chamberlain, while Bertrand and Johnson cover the full-back positions vacated by Luke Shaw (groin tear and throat infection) and Nathaniel Clyne (knee injury).
Southgate, previously the England Under-21 manager, explained his selection by telling FATV: “We’ve tried to keep some continuity from last month because my view would be a lot of things have been going right.
“We had a few people unavailable through injury, obviously Harry Kane, Jack Butland and we lost a couple over the weekend…Danny Drinkwater, Adam Lallana, Nathaniel Clyne and Luke Shaw’s not quite back fully fit yet.
“That’s had a bearing on the squad and a couple of players I’ve worked with, with Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard, in the Under-21s who we think are exciting players and we wanted to put in this squad.”
Allardyce’s England reign lasted just 67 days after the Daily Telegraph newspaper released secretly-filmed footage of him making controversial remarks about a variety of subjects, including side work and circumventing FA regulations.
England squad announced Sunday for the World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovenia on October 8 and 11 respectively:
Goalkeepers: Fraser Forster (Southampton), Joe Hart (Torino/ITA on loan from Manchester City), Tom Heaton (Burnley)
Defenders: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Glen Johnson (Stoke City), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur)
Midfielders: Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Michail Antonio (West Ham United), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur)
Forwards: Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
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