England call up in-form West Ham attacker Jarrod Bowen for Nations League games

Southgate also brings in Leicester defender James Justin with four fixtures in June

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England manager Gareth Southgate has called-up in-form West Ham attacker Jarrod Bowen for the June Nations League fixtures.

Bowen, 25, has enjoyed a superb season for the Premier League side, with 18 goals and 13 assists in all competitions, and only a foot injury prevented him from receiving his maiden senior call-up in March.

England face four Nations League matches between June 4-14, with trips to Hungary and Germany followed by matches at Wolves' Molineux ground against Italy and Hungary.

Southgate said of Bowen’s inclusion: “Constantly strong performances. We were certainly thinking about involving him in March before he got injured.

“He’s a goal threat and his direct journey is an interesting reminder that you don’t have to be at an elite academy – experience is a great route to go.

“He works incredibly hard for the team, which we want all our players to do. He thoroughly deserves his call-up.”

Leicester City defender James Justin has also made the 27-man squad in what is more of a surprising inclusion. The 24-year-old has made 19 appearances in all competitions since recovering from an anterior cruciate injury sustained in February 2021.

“He’s a player that we’ve followed for a long time and he obviously had a very serious injury and has now, we feel, played the number of matches and been able to play more regularly,” Southgate said.

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“He’s comfortable playing left or right-back and very comfortable with the ball, a super athlete, a very good person, so we’re really looking forward to working with him more closely.”

Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, Kalvin Phillips and Fikayo Tomori were all back in the squad, but there was no recall for in-form Leicester playmaker James Maddison.

Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson, Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings and Arsenal youngster Emile Smith Rowe were absent from the squad.

Southgate explained why he decided to include Trent Alexander-Arnold and not Liverpool teammate Henderson ahead of the Merseyside club's Champions League final against Real Madrid on Saturday.

Southgate said: “We’ve learnt over the last three or four years, where we’ve had players in that [final] match, the emotional fallout, win or lose, from that game is enormous.

“So you’re not too sure what’s going to come through the door and it’s very difficult to get yourself up after that, so I spoke with the two lads about what they felt was best for them.

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“They’re in different positions because Jordan’s age, the number of caps he’s got, is totally different to Trent of course and we’ve got good players in all those [midfield] areas of the pitch. We’ve got cover.

“But we felt that with Hendo, we didn’t need to see him this summer and with Trent, slightly different. We’d like him to be with us from the start of the camp.

“We gave him the option of reporting a bit later so he got a longer break after the final, but he felt more comfortable to keep going and finish a bit earlier.”

AC Milan’s former Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori and Roma striker Tammy Abraham have both been rewarded for impressive seasons in Serie A by being recalled to the squad.

Tomori has just won the Serie A title with Milan, while Abraham – who has scored 27 goals in all competitions this season – is due to play in Wednesday's Europa Conference League final against Feyenoord.

Southgate said: “Firstly, huge credit to both the boys for going and adapting to living abroad, playing in a different style of football, endeavouring to learn another language and fit in culturally with the group. That deserves huge credit.

“Fikayo will come in with the confidence of just winning a league title and playing in front of 70,000 fans every week – that is a similar pressure to playing for England.”

Updated: May 24, 2022, 3:17 PM
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