England manager Gareth Southgate has today announced a 23 man squad for the upcoming October international break, including the long awaited return of AC Milan defender Fikayo Tomori.
Southgate in his press conference talked about Fikayo Tomori’s ability to perform under pressure, with the expectation that comes with being at Milan and playing in the Champions League, in a tough group including Liverpool, Atletico Madrid and Porto. He’s a player noted for his pace and his aerial ability, something which will serve England well, especially due to his ability on the ball as well.
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Southgate has this month found himself short of one of his most relied on players with Harry Maguire missing through injury. Maguire picked up a calf injury in Manchester United’s 1-0 loss to Aston Villa last weekend is set to be out for the next few weeks. However, with only the two fixtures to play – Andorra away on October 9 and Hungary at Wembley on October 12, Southgate need not worry about putting his remaining key players through 3 games in 7 days like previous.
The squad also marks the return of Manchester City star Phil Foden after his injury he picked up that kept him out of the Euros final in July. He’s been thrown right back in at Manchester City in the centre of midfield or as a False 9, providing huge tactical versality to Southgate. The squad is also notable for its inclusion of Mason Mount, Reece James and Luke Shaw who Southgate has noted they’ll be keeping an eye on their fitness as they are currently out of contention at their clubs. Youngsters Jude Bellingham and Mason Greenwood also miss out due to their ‘heavy workload’ according to the England manager, and their development in mind.
The squad overall is Southgate still trying to respect those that made the Euros final in the summer, but slowly introducing and reintroducing other players back into the fold such as Jesse Lingard and Ollie Watkins. Southgate made clear he doesn’t want to be raiding the England youth teams every month, as developing players through the youth groups is what’s made their top talents like Foden, Mount and others so vital to the England setup. Fans may be disappointed at the lack of Jude Bellingham but it is far from the end of his time with England. The squad shouldn’t be a shock to anyone, England simply want to qualify for the World Cup and then use any remaining fixtures to experiment once again before getting plans in place for Qatar next winter.
Full squad for October 2021 fixtures:
Goalkeepers: Sam Johnstone (West Bromwich Albion), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)
Defenders: Conor Coady (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Reece James (Chelsea), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan) Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid), Kyle Walker (Manchester City)
Midfielders: Phil Foden (Manchester City) Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United), Declan Rice (West Ham United)
Forwards: Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Jadon Sancho (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa)