England squad confirmed as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Tyrone Mings earn surprise places


Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been recalled to the England squad after fighting back to fitness (Picture: Getty)

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could make his first international appearance for more than a year while Tyrone Mings is set for an England debut after both were surprise inclusions in Gareth Southgate’s squad.

Liverpool midfielder Oxlade-Chamberlain has not played for England since the 1-1 draw with Italy in March 2018, just a month after which he suffered a serious knee injury.

The 26-year-old spent a year and a day on the sidelines before making his comeback for the Reds at the end of last season and has been rewarded for his return to first team action with a place in the squad to face Bulgaria and Kosovo next month.

However, Southgate may face criticism for including a player who has only started one competitive fixture in 18 months.



England squad in full

Goalkeepers

Tom Heaton (Aston Villa), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley)

Defenders

Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Ben Chilwell (Leicester City), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Michael Keane (Everton), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa)*, Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid), Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Manchester United)*

Midfielders

Ross Barkley (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), James Maddison (Leicester City), Mason Mount (Chelsea)*, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool), Declan Rice (West Ham United), Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur)

Forwards

Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Callum Wilson (AFC Bournemouth)

* denotes uncapped player

He will be joined by Mings, who has played every minute of Aston Villa’s Premier League return after converting his loan move from Bournemouth into a permanent switch over the summer in a £20million transfer.

The 26-year-old, who signed for non-league Yate Town when he failed to win a professional contract at the age of 18, has been named in an England squad for the first time after making the step up from the Championship with apparent ease.

Southgate said: ‘I watched him last year. I wanted to see how he adapted to the Premier League and a different level of forward.

‘He entered the game a bit later than others and hasn’t played as much at centre-back.

Tyrone Mings was at the heart of Aston Villa’s push for promotion last season (Picture: Getty)

‘There’s lots of room for improvement and I like his leadership. He’s an outstanding athlete.’

James Maddison and Mason Mount are also back in the squad for the first time since last October after their impressive starts to the Premier League season.

However, there is no place for Manchester City full-back Kyle Walker, who scored an own-goal in the Nations League semi-final against the Netherlands, as he has been replaced by Kieran Trippier and £50m full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

England will return to Wembley for the first time since before the Nations League Finals on Saturday September 7 for a 5pm kick-off against Bulgaria, to whom they have never lost, before a historic encounter with Kosovo, their first ever senior meeting, at St Mary’s Stadium on Tuesday September 10 (7.45pm).





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