England squad: Newcastle striker Callum Wilson recalled for Euro 2024 qualifiers


Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson has been recalled to the England squad by manager Gareth Southgate for their final two Euro 2024 qualifiers.

Tottenham midfielder James Maddison and Arsenal forward Bukayo Saka are also in despite injury worries.

England play Malta on 17 November and North Macedonia on 20 November.

Southgate’s side have already qualified for the tournament in Germany next June and July after a 3-1 win against Italy in October.

Chelsea forward Raheem Sterling, who has has 82 caps and 20 goals for England, is left out of a fifth successive squad.

Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins retains his place after his first inclusion since March 2022 for the October international matches, while Jordan Henderson, who joined Saudi Arabian side Al-Ettifaq from Liverpool in July, also keeps his spot.

Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah and Manchester City defender John Stones are both out injured.

Southgate said during his news conference on Thursday the door was “100% open” for 28-year-old Sterling and other players who have not been chosen.

“We don’t need to know about his quality, his personality. He is a crucial part of why we’ve had the journey we’ve had over the last few years,” said the England boss.

“I can only repeat what I have said in the meetings, we’re playing exceptionally well and who can I leave out?”

Southgate also said Chelsea right-back Reece James asked to be left out of the squad as he did not feel “quite ready”, having only recently returned to action after a hamstring issue.

England squad

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

Defenders: Levi Colwill (Chelsea), Lewis Dunk (Brighton), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), 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: Jarrod Bowen (West Ham), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Bayern Munich), James Maddison (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa), Callum Wilson (Newcastle)

Short presentational grey line

Southgate ‘disappointed’ for Stones

Stones missed the start of the season for City with a hip injury and only returned to action in October before picking up a muscle injury in the Treble winners’ Champions League victory against Young Boys on Tuesday.

City boss Pep Guardiola said Stones will likely be on the sidelines “for a while” and the 29-year-old was a “big loss”.

“I am really disappointed for John,” added Southgate. “The quality of his play is outstanding.

“He’s having a difficult time injury-wise at the moment, but it gives others an opportunity and we do need to know a little bit more about other players in that area of the pitch.”

Southgate has kept faith with Harry Maguire during a difficult period for the Manchester United centre-back.

The 30-year-old only made his first start for United on 26 September but has made manager Erik ten Hag’s starting line-up in the past seven games, scoring one goal against Copenhagen in the Champions League.

“I thought it might be the first time without a question about him,” said Southgate. “It’s great he has been playing, you want all your players playing.”

Analysis

Phil McNulty, BBC Sport chief football writer

England manager Gareth Southgate insists the door is still open for Raheem Sterling to reignite his international career but there is no doubt he is very much on the outside looking in after being excluded again for the final Euro 2024 qualifiers with Malta and North Macedonia.

Sterling’s England career may not be over – but he faces a huge battle to resurrect it.

Chelsea’s 28-year-old forward has been back to something like his best this season – but time might have passed him by in the period away from England’s squad after agreeing with Southgate to miss games against these same opponents at the end of last season to work on his fitness.

On the evidence of the latest squad selection, Sterling’s chances of an England recall appear to rely on an injury crisis or a collapse in form of those the manager now prefers.

Southgate would never say Sterling’s chances of a return are slim – why would he? – but the player who was once an integral part of England’s plans is clearly surplus to requirements at present.

Sterling’s situation is not helped by England’s embarrassment of riches in the wide positions with Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka, West Ham United’s in-form Jarrod Bowen, Marcus Rashford of Manchester United and the Manchester City pair of Phil Foden and Jack Grealish.

As Southgate correctly states, who should he leave out to accommodate Sterling?

Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson, injury permitting, will hope for another chance to prove he can be Harry Kane’s deputy while Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins will harbour similar ambitions after scoring the winner in the recent friendly against Australia at Wembley.



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