Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson named in England squad for Ukraine and Scotland games

Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate leaves out Raheem Sterling and admits Chelsea attacker 'isn't particularly happy about it'

Harry Maguire has has been called-up by England despite not playing for Manchester United so far this season. AP
Powered by automated translation

England manager Gareth Southgate has named Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson in his squad for September's games against Ukraine and Scotland.

Centre-back Maguire has not played for Manchester United so far this season and looked set to join West Ham United at one point this summer but now looks set to stay at fight for his place at Old Trafford.

Midfielder Henderson left Liverpool during the transfer window and joined former Reds captain Steven Gerrard at Saudi Pro League side Al Ettifaq.

Attacker Raheem Sterling – who was left out of Southgate's previous two squads – is a notable absentee after making an impressive start to the season with Chelsea under new Blues manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah and Chelsea centre-back Levi Colwill receive their first call-ups while midfielder Kalvin Phillips makes the cut despite not appearing in any of Manchester City's matches this season.

England take on Ukraine in a Euro 2024 qualifier on September 9 in Poland and Scotland in a friendly at Hampden Park three days later to mark the 150th anniversary of that fixture.

Henderson, 33, will looking to add to his 77 caps but Southgate admits he has concerns over his move to the mega-spending Saudi league.

“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,” he said.

“Clearly the level of the league is changing all the time, lots of countries are going to have this issue. Portugal have got a few players there so I'm sure they are going to be playing international football still.”

Maguire, 30, has played 57 times for the Three Lions and Southgate saying injuries have played a part in his inclusion. “We have lost a lot of experienced players with caps at centre-half,” Southgate, who admitted the lack of club game time for Maguire and Phillips was “far from ideal”, said.

“We are giving some less experienced players the opportunity to come into the squad but unfortunately it looks like Tyrone is out for the season, 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.”

As for Sterling, it is clear the 28-year-old – who has scored 20 goals in 80 appearances for the Three Lions – was frustrated with his lack of call-up. “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,” said Southgate.

“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.”

England squad

Goalkeepers: Sam Johnstone (Crystal Palace), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal).

Defenders: Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Levi Colwill (Chelsea), Lewis Dunk (Brighton & Hove Albion), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City).

Midfielders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Al-Ettifaq), Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City), Declan Rice (Arsenal).

Forwards: Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Bayern Munich), James Maddison (Tottenham), Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Callum Wilson (Newcastle United).

Updated: August 31, 2023, 2:44 PM