England World Cup squad 2022: James Maddison and Callum Wilson named

Three Lions manager Southgate calls-up Leicester attacker and Newcastle striker for finals in Qatar

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England manager Gareth Southgate has named Leicester City attacker James Maddison and Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson in his 26-man squad for the World Cup finals in Qatar.

The in-form pair have been brought back for their first international call-ups in three years. Maddison’s only England cap came as a substitute against Montenegro in November 2019 – also the last squad Wilson, who has one goal from four appearances, was involved in.

England play their first game against Iran on November 21, then take on the United States on November 25 and Wales four days later.

“He’s playing really well,” Southgate said of Maddison. “Look, he’s a good player, we’ve always said he's a good player. We think he can give us something slightly different to the other attacking players we’ve got.

“At various stages there have been conversations about James. He is playing as well as any of the attacking players in this country.”

There is a recall for rejuvenated Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford, whose last cap came in the Euro 2020 final loss to Italy.

There is no space in Southgate’s Qatar selection for Roma striker Tammy Abraham, Brentford frontman Ivan Toney or West Ham forward Jarrod Bowen.

“Tammy has had a poor run of scoring form at the wrong time, Southgate said of Abraham. “It is not a case where we are three or four weeks away from the first match, we are now 10 days, so form could be more important.

“We are watching their club form but we don't know where they are until we see them face to face.

“You still don't get the full picture until you work with them and see how they train with each other.”

Manchester City pair Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips were included despite a lack of match fitness, while Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has been named in the squad despite his limited game time.

“Kalvin played last night; he is free of injury,” said Southgate. “We are aware he is not going to be able to play seven 90 minutes, that won't be possible. But he is available.

“We don't really have a lot of cover for that role in the country. Kalvin is a super player and we feel it is a risk worth taking. Kyle is not back in full training but will be available before the end of the group stage.”

Versatile Arsenal defender Ben White has been brought into a group that has Luke Shaw as the only out-and-out left-back. Marc Guehi, Fikayo Tomori and Tyrone Mings are among those missing out.

Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher made the cut but Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse again just missed out on a major tournament squad.

“We’ve wanted to make sure the balance of the squad is right,” added Southgate.

“I think the squad is more important than ever. With five substitutes you can have almost half the team changed during the game so you want different options for different moments of matches and stages at the tournament as well.

“We’ve had to cover a couple of players that aren’t yet fully fit, so having 26 available meant we were probably able to take a couple of risks that you might not have been able to with 23, but we think the balance is there and we’ve got cover in the positions we need.

“We’re lighter on depth in some positions than others but we think we’ve got everything covered.”

Updated: November 16, 2022, 10:00 AM