The FA has announced England’s 23-man squad for this summer’s World Cup, with Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere among the big names missing out to a number of uncapped youngsters.
Widespread reports on Tuesday revealed that Gareth Southgate had decided to leave West Ham goalkeeper Hart and Arsenal midfielder Wilshere at home, and there is indeed no place for either despite the pair having amassed more than 100 caps between them.
Former Under-21s boss Southgate has named one of the most inexperienced squads to ever represent the Three Lions at a major tournament, but regular skipper Gary Cahill has made it despite speculation he would also miss out.
He is the only Chelsea player in the travelling party to Russia besides Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who has enjoyed an impressive season on loan at Crystal Palace, with Southgate opting for a strong Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur contingent.
Thirty-goal striker Harry Kane, full-back Danny Rose and Dele Alli are among those to secure a place from Mauricio Pochettino’s side, while Anfield provides Jordan Henderson and uncapped 19-year-old right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Injuries meant their Reds teammates Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez were unavailable for selection.
Former Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling, ex-Spurs wing-back Kyle Walker and centre-back John Stones are in from title-winning Manchester City, with striker Marcus Rashford, midfielder Jesse Lingard and wing-back Ashley Young in from neighbours United.
Ex-United forward Danny Welbeck is the only Arsenal player selected, and will likely be backup the likes of Kane and Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy.
As for goalkeepers, Jack Butland of recently relegated Stoke City will fight for the gloves with Everton stopper Jordan Pickford and Burnley’s Nick Pope.
They have just nine caps between them, with Pope having none.
:: Squad in full:
- Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke City), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley).
- Defenders: Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Ashley Young (Manchester United), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Leicester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur).
- Midfielders: Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea).
- Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal).
On the stand-by list are Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton and centre-back James Tarkowski, West Brom midfielder Jake Livermore and Liverpool’s Adam Lallana.
Southgate said: “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.”
England kick-off their group stage campaign against Tunisia in Volgograd on at 7pm on 18 June, before facing Panama on 24 June and Belgium on 28 June.
They failed to make the knock-outs under Roy Hodgson in Brazil in 2014.
The tournament gets underway in Luzhniki at 4pm on 14 June, when the hosts take on Saudi Arabia, and wraps up with the final at the same time in the same place on 15 July.
(c) Sky News 2018: World Cup: Big names absent as Gareth Southgate names 23-man England squad