Jermain Defoe among surprise names in Gareth Southgate's England squad

16 March 2017 02:08

Gareth Southgate sprung several shocks when he named his first England squad since becoming permanent manager, including Jermain Defoe, Jake Livermore and Luke Shaw as well as four uncapped players.

The 26-man group to face Germany and Lithuania includes Southampton pair James Ward-Prowse and Nathan Redmond, both of whom have played for Southgate at under-21 level but have yet to feature for the seniors, along with the uncapped Michael Keane and Michail Antonio.

Marcus Rashford, Phil Jones and Ross Barkley have also earned recalls to the international stage but there is no place for skipper Wayne Rooney, who is currently recovering from a knee problem.

Injuries to Rooney, Daniel Sturridge and Harry Kane have led to Sunderland's Defoe - last capped in November 2013 - being brought back into the fold at the age of 34 while Rashford, 15 years his junior, has also been named in Southgate's group rather than the under-21s.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is the presence of West Brom midfielder Livermore given his sole cap came in the summer of 2012. In 2015 Livermore tested positive for cocaine and was cleared to return in September that year less than two weeks after the Football Association took the death of his newborn son as exceptional mitigating circumstances.

Meanwhile, left-back Shaw has played just twice for Manchester United since November, though an injury to Tottenham's Danny Rose has also left Southgate short in that department.

Source: PA


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