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England squad: Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah handed first Three Lions call-up for Ukraine and Scotland matches

Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah handed first England call-up; Jordan Henderson and Harry Maguire included but no place for Raheem Sterling; England face a Euro 2024 qualifier against Ukraine in Poland on September 9 before taking on Scotland at Hampden Park in a friendly on September 12

Eddie Nketiah netted the equaliser at The Emirates
Image: Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah has been named in England's 26-man squad

Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah has been handed his first senior England call-up after being picked in the squad for September's matches against Ukraine and Scotland.

Nketiah has scored twice in his three Premier League appearances this season and is England's record Under-21 scorer with 16 goals.

Al Ettifaq midfielder Jordan Henderson has been named in Gareth Southgate's 26-man squad despite England's vice-captain moving to the Saudi Arabian club this summer.

England's September squad

  • Goalkeepers: Sam Johnstone (Crystal Palace), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal).
  • Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Lewis Dunk (Brighton), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Levi Colwill (Chelsea), Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ben Chilwell (Chelsea).
  • Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid), Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Al Ettifaq), James Maddison (Tottenham), Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City), Declan Rice (Arsenal).
  • Forwards: Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Bayern Munich), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Callum Wilson (Newcastle), Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal).

Southgate admits he has some concerns around the 33-year-old's decision to join the Saudi Pro League.

The Three Lions boss said: "We've watched every game, the key as we move forward is going to be the physical intensity of the league, because of the heat as well, whether that is going to allow him to perform at the level we need."

On the decision to select Henderson despite moving to Saudi Arabia and their lack of LGBTQ+ rights, Southgate said: "I think we are supportive of the LGBT+ community, a large number of the team and staff have either relatives or friends from that community.

"We have tried to be very supportive but I also accept members of the community felt let down. You have to live your life as you see fit, I can only speak on personal level and what the team represents and I try to be accepting of all cultures and understanding of everyone in different positions.

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"If there is a feeling we haven't done enough we have to accept that position, but it is not intentional, but these are all very complex situations that we are trying to do our best to navigate."

Maguire, Phillips in but Sterling omitted

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England manager Gareth Southgate reveals Chelsea's Raheem Sterling was unhappy with missing out on the squad

Former Manchester United captain Harry Maguire and Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips are also included despite neither player having played a minute of club football this season.

Southgate said of Maguire's inclusion: "We have lost a lot of experienced players with caps at centre-half, we are giving some less experienced players the opportunity to come into the squad but unfortunately it looks like Tyrone (Mings) is out for the season, (John) Stones is out for this camp, Eric Dier hasn't been in the Tottenham squad.

"There is a space there and I think for these two games it is important we have some experience in that place of the pitch."

But Chelsea forward Raheem Sterling misses out despite a strong start to the new season having scored twice in the Blues' 3-0 win over Luton.

The 28-year-old respects Southgate's decision to leave him out of the squad and, in the meantime, will continue to focus on his domestic form at Stamford Bridge.

Southgate said the door was still open for Sterling to earn a way back into his thoughts but revealed he was unhappy with the omission.

He said: "He was not available for the last two and of course that has given other people the opportunity to play well and establish themselves in the group.

"It is a difficult call and Raheem isn't particularly happy about it - I'm convinced he will have a good season at Chelsea, I've no doubt about that."

Colwill receives first formal call-up

Levi Colwill
Image: Chelsea defender Levi Colwill has been included in the England senior squad for the second time

Chelsea do have three representatives in the squad, however, with defender Levi Colwill receiving his first formal senior call-up after being promoted to the squad in June. He joins team-mates Ben Chilwell and Conor Gallagher in the squad.

Former Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori, who now plays for AC Milan, has been recalled by Southgate.

But Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope, West Ham midfielder James Ward-Prowse and Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins are all notable absentees.

England face a Euro 2024 qualifier against Ukraine in Poland on September 9 before taking on Scotland at Hampden Park in a friendly three days later as part of the 150th anniversary celebrations of their first match in 1872.

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