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Alexander-Arnold the emblem of youthful England WCup squad

17 May 2018
Alexander-Arnold the emblem of youthful England WCup squad

Southgate has turned to the next generation in his bid to build a squad that can mount a serious challenge in future major tournaments, with Joe Hart omitted from the squad.

While big names appeared to be dropping like flies, one fan made a decision to pluck up the courage to Wilshere if he wanted to go on holiday with "the lads".

Sure enough as Southgate announced the squad at 2pm yesterday - the names of Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope were listed in the shot-stopping department.

We look at how the players reacted to the announcement and what the football media and England fans think of Southgate's 23-man squad.

Hart, who has been capped 75 times and was first-choice keeper in the last three tournaments, was the highest-profile casualty as Southgate named his 23-man squad on Wednesday.

Former 53-cap midfielder Hoddle, who also managed England at the 1998 World Cup, added: "I would agree".

Meanwhile, England's three keepers for Russian Federation 2018 - Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford and the uncapped Nick Pope - have won just nine caps between them, while midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has made just two Three Lions appearances.

Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold was the shock inclusion, having received a call-up off the back of a highly impressive breakthrough season with the Reds.

As had been widely speculated upon, Southgate decided against selecting City goalkeeper Joe Hart, who has spent the past year on loan at West Ham, or Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere.

Danny Rose is one of the two left backs, along with Ashley Young, despite starting only nine games for Tottenham this season because of injuries. Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane unsurprisingly scored the best out of England's attackers, with scores of 79.2 and 72 respectively, with Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford and Jamie Vardy providing able support.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek caught the eye on his worldwide debut against Germany in November and could emerge as a midfield force in Russian Federation, while the versatile Fabian Delph has proved a class act for Manchester City this season.

However, his lack of fitness means he has to settle with a stand-by place alongside Jake Livermore, Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook.

England is in Group G with Belgium, Panama and Tunisia. "We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season".