Man Utd pair Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford named in Gareth Southgate's first England squad
By Mark Crellin
Last Updated: 03/10/16 9:42am
Interim England boss Gareth Southgate has named the Manchester United pair Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford in his first squad.
Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Stoke's Glen Johnson and Southampton's Ryan Bertrand are also in the squad for the World Cup Qualifiers at home to Malta (October 8) and in Slovenia (October 11).
Full-back Johnson returns to the squad for the first time since the 2014 World Cup while attacking midfielder Oxlade-Chamberlain is on song again after injury and returns to the fold after a year's absence.
Liverpool duo Adam Lallana and Nathaniel Clyne miss out after picking up injuries during Saturday's 2-1 win at Swansea, and Leicester midfielder Danny Drinkwater is also unavailable.
Rashford was a surprising omission from Sam Allardyce's first squad, after impressing at Euro 2016, and went on to score a brilliant hat-trick for Southgate's U21 side against Norway.
With Harry Kane out injured, Rashford could well get a chance to impress in the upcoming qualifiers and he is joined by club mate Lingard, who was in the squad for a 2015 friendly against France but remains uncapped.
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Bertrand and Johnson are in to cover the full-back areas with Luke Shaw (groin tear and throat infection) and Clyne (knee) out.
Johnson's selection was not widely anticipated, the 32-year-old having been out of the set-up for two years, and with his club side Stoke struggling, but he performed well during Sunday's 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.
Uncapped West Ham forward Michail Antonio was called up by Allardyce and remains in the squad but there is no way back yet for Everton's Ross Barkley or Bournemouth's Jack Wilshere.
Southgate has stepped up from his position with the U21s to take charge of the senior squad for the final four matches of 2016, after Allardyce's contract was terminated last week, just one match into his tenure.
And Southgate told the FA website: "We've tried to keep some continuity from last month, because my view would be that there are a lot of things that have been going right.
"We've had a few people unavailable through injury like Harry Kane and Jack Butland, and we've lost a couple over the weekend in Danny Drinkwater, Adam Lallana and Nathaniel Clyne, while Luke Shaw isn't quite back fit yet. That's had a bearing on the squad.
"There are obviously a couple of players that I've worked with in the U21s in Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard, who we think are exciting young players who we wanted to put in this squad.
"It's obviously been a difficult week in a number of ways.
"However, we are in a position now where it's important to get the squad named. I'm looking forward now to working with the players, because it's important that we build on the performance and the result against Slovakia [a 1-0 victory]."
England squad to play Malta and Slovenia: Forster (Southampton), Hart (Torino), Heaton (Burnley); Bertrand (Southampton), Cahill (Chelsea), Jagielka (Everton), Johnson (Stoke), Rose (Tottenham), Smalling (Man Utd), Stones (Man City), Walker (Tottenham); Dier (Tottenham), Henderson (Liverpool) Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Antonio (West Ham), Lingard (Man Utd), Sterling (Man City), Walcott (Arsenal), Alli (Tottenham), Rooney (Man Utd), Rashford (Man Utd), Sturridge (Liverpool), Vardy (Leicester).