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26-man line-up for four fixtures with Jarrod Bowen and Fikayo Tomori


Jarrod Bowen has been included in the England squad for the first time following a spectacular 2021-22 season with West Ham.

The 25-year-old scored 12 goals and provided 10 assists in 36 Premier League games for the Hammers and played an integral role in their run to the Europa League semi-final, scoring three times.

Harry Kane was the only English player to manage more direct goal contributions (with 22; 17 goals, nine assists) in Europe’s top five leagues than Bowen’s 22.

Bowen had been tipped for inclusion in Gareth Southgate‘s last squad in March before an ankle injury sustained during a 1-0 defeat against Liverpool at Anfield scuppered his chances of inclusion.

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“We were certainly thinking about involving him in March before he got injured,” Southgate said about Bowen during his press conference on Tuesday. “I think he’s a goal threat, he’s direct. His journey is really interesting in terms of the experiences he’s had. It’s a reminder that you don’t just have to be at an elite academy and come through that pathway.

“To play in the lower divisions and have that experience is also a great route to go. He works incredibly hard for the team, which we want all our forward players to be able to do. So he’s thoroughly deserved his call-up.”

Leicester full-back James Justin is the only other uncapped player in the squad, while Fikayo Tomori has earned a recall after helping AC Milan win their first Serie A title in 11 years.

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is the most notable absentee, with Tyrone Mings, Emile Smith Rowe, Tyrick Mitchell, Kyle Walker-Peters and Ollie Watkins also dropping out after being included last time.

Arsenal defender Ben White withdrew from the squad due to a hamstring injury.

England squad

Goalkeepers:

  • Jordan Pickford
  • Nick Pope
  • Aaron Ramsdale

Defenders:

  • Trent Alexander-Arnold
  • Conor Coady
  • Marc Guehi
  • Reece James
  • James Justin
  • Harry Maguire
  • John Stones
  • Fikayo Tomori
  • Kieran Trippier
  • Kyle Walker

Midfielders:

  • Jude Bellingham
  • Conor Gallagher
  • Mason Mount
  • Kalvin Phillips
  • Declan Rice
  • James Ward-Prowse

Forwards:

  • Tammy Abraham
  • Jarrod Bowen
  • Phil Foden
  • Jack Grealish
  • Harry Kane
  • Bukayo Saka
  • Raheem Sterling

Southgate revealed that Henderson had been left out due to the sheer volume of games that the Liverpool captain has played this season, with Jurgen Klopp’s side playing the maximum number of fixtures possible by reaching three cup finals.

“The decision around Hendo is that he’s had 60 plus games this season,” Southgate reasoned. “I don’t need to know anything more about him. Trent [Alexander-Arnold] will probably be with us for the first part of the camp and that will probably be enough for him.”

Eric Dier and James Maddison also miss out despite performing well for Tottenham and Leicester respectively this season, while there is no place for Marcus Rashford.

Southgate acknowledged that Dier has “played very well” for Tottenham this season, but said that these games gave him an opportunity to analyse younger players in that position, with Tomori, Ben White (who later withdrew through injury) and Marc Guehi all named.

England fixtures

  • vs Hungary: 5pm on Sat 4 June at Puskas Arena
  • vs Germany: 7.45pm on Tues 7 June at Allianz Arena
  • vs Italy: 7.45pm on Sat 11 June at Molineux
  • vs Hungary: 7.45pm Tues 14 June at Molineux

He added on Maddison: “He is competing with Mason Mount and Phil Foden and these types of players in the role where he is at his best. It’s one of the positions where there is a lot of strength in depth and you may have to leave players out who may be equally as deserving.”

England will face familiar opponents in their four Uefa Nations League fixtures. The Three Lions will play their Euro 2020 conquerors Italy at Wembley again as well as Germany, who they beat in the last-16 of that competition. There are also two games against Hungary, who were in England’s World Cup qualifying group.

Analysis: Jarrod Bowen was West Ham’s man of moments last term and needs one for England to cement World Cup place

By Oliver Young-Myles

The season didn’t end in European glory, as anyone in claret and blue hoped it might, but West Ham fans still had plenty of magical moments to savour, both at home and abroad. And a large chunk of them were supplied by England newcomer Jarrod Bowen.

Bowen provided two assists in the 3-2 win against Liverpool in November, scored in the victory by the same scoreline over Chelsea in December, netted in both Europa League quarter-final ties with Lyon in April and briefly blew the title race open with two first-half strikes against a shellshocked Manchester City in May.

A return of 12 Premier League goals in 2021-22 was bettered by only three Englishmen – Harry Kane (17), Jamie Vardy (15) and Raheem Sterling (13) – and his tally of 10 assists was inferior to only Mo Salah (13) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (12). As Gareth Southgate acknowledged on Tuesday, he is certainly deserving of a first England call-up – at any level – for June’s Nations League meetings with Hungary, Italy and Germany.

“We were certainly thinking about involving him in March before he got injured,” Southgate revealed. “I think he’s a goal threat, he’s direct. His journey is really interesting in terms of the experiences he’s had. It’s a reminder that you don’t just have to be at an elite academy and come through that pathway.

“To play in the lower divisions and have that experience is also a great route to go. He works incredibly hard for the team, which we want all our forward players to be able to do. So he’s thoroughly deserved his call-up.”

Bowen will be looking to emulate club-mate Declan Rice’s impact for England (Photo: PA)

As Southgate alluded to, Bowen has adapted and thrived with each step up the pyramid he has taken, from getting a move to then-Premier League club Hull from non-league Hereford United in 2014, to joining West Ham in a deal worth up to £25m after establishing himself as one of the best players in the Championship.

Bowen’s performances in the latter stages of West Ham’s Europa League campaign offered further evidence of his evolution. Following in club-mate Declan Rice’s footsteps by pulling on an England shirt marks the natural next stage of his progression. Considering the wealth of talent that Southgate has at his disposal, earning a shot is an achievement in itself.

Depending on which system Southgate selects, Bowen could find himself in competition with Mason Mount, Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish and Bukayo Saka who are all part of the chosen 27. Southgate’s formation for last summer’s European Championship only had space for three forwards and not every attack-minded player has been able to adapt to his tactical instructions.

Bowen will be acutely aware that this is his big chance to impress and enhance his claims for a seat on the plane bound for Qatar. England have only one more get together, in September, before the tournament begins. Another defining moment or two in England’s next four matches might just do the trick.

Tomori is ‘the future of Milan’ after studying at the Oxbridge of defending

By Alasdair Mackenzie

During lockdown, a period many remember as a blur of procrastination, he put down the TV remote and polished off the final assignments of an Open University degree in business management.

“I saw it as a chance to focus and get it all done. I like to engage my brain and keep it ticking,” he said.

Tomori’s education was just getting started. After his academic studies, a move to AC Milan in January 2021 gave the centre-back the opportunity to learn at the Oxbridge of defending: San Siro.

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The ex-Chelsea man joined a club famed for building the most formidable backlines, with an all-time great defender, Paolo Maldini, as technical director.

Milan clinched their first Serie A title in 11 years by beating Sassuolo 3-0 on the final day of the season. And the 24-year-old Tomori has formed a formidable partnership with Pierre Kalulu, while another French prospect, goalkeeper Mike Maignan, has excelled behind them – forming a defensive unit described in the Italian media as a “bunker” or a “wall”.

Milan have conceded two goals in their last 11 league games with five clean sheets in a row at home – and 18 for the season – the club’s best defensive record in a decade. The bunker has earned plaudits from Milan royalty.

Tomori played a pivotal role in AC Milan’s Serie A win (Photo: Getty)

Mauro Tassotti, who formed one of the great Milan defences alongside Maldini, Franco Baresi and Alessandro Costacurta, said: “Tomori is good at winning the ball back, his speed is impressive. He anticipates a lot and he’s always aggressive.”

Alessandro Nesta said Tomori and Kalulu are “two modern centre-backs who put pressure high up the pitch and leave a lot of space behind – that allows the team to stay high, which is fundamental nowadays”. For former boss Fabio Capello, they represent “the future of Milan”.

“They have formed a rock-solid partnership. Let’s remember that it isn’t easy to replace a player like Kjaer,” said former title-winning Milan coach Alberto Zaccheroni. “As soon as I saw Tomori last year, I understood we were in the presence of a top player.”

He is also hugely popular, earning praise for giving an interview in Italian in March, 14 months after joining the club. “Not perfect yet, but I’m trying,” he tweeted. Ever the student.

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