London: West Ham forward Jarrod Bowen and Leicester defender James Justin received their first England call-ups as Gareth Southgate named his squad for Nations League matches in June yesterday.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, Aston Villa skipper Tyrone Mings and Arsenal youngster Emile Smith Rowe were absent from the 27-man selection.
Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, Kalvin Phillips and Fikayo Tomori, fresh from winning Serie A with AC Milan, were included in the Nations League squad, but there was no recall for in-form Leicester playmaker James Maddison.
Bowen and Justin were the standout inclusions in Southgate’s squad for the four Nations League games, with trips to Hungary and Germany followed by Molineux encounters against Italy and Hungary again.
After a foot injury prevented him from potentially receiving a maiden senior call-up in March, West Ham star Bowen was included, having finished a fine season with 18 goals and 13 assists in all competitions.
Versatile full-back Justin was a more surprising inclusion. The 24-year-old has made 19 appearances in all competitions since recovering from an anterior cruciate injury sustained in February 2021.
On Bowen’s inclusion, Southgate said yesterday: “Constantly strong performances. We were certainly thinking about involving him in March before he got injured. He’s a goal threat and his direct journey is an interesting reminder that you don’t have to be at an elite academy – experience is a great route to go.
“He works incredibly hard for the team, which we want all our players to do. He thoroughly deserves his call-up.”
Justin has impressed Southgate since recovering from his knee injury.
“He’s a player that we’ve followed for a long time and he obviously had a very serious injury and has now, we feel, played the number of matches and been able to play more regularly,” Southgate said.
“He’s comfortable playing left or right-back and very comfortable with the ball, a super athlete and a very good person.”
AC Milan defender Fikayo Tomori and Roma striker Tammy Abraham have been rewarded for impressive seasons in Italy after leaving Chelsea in the past 12 months. Tomori played a key role in AC Milan’s first Serie A title for 11 years, while Abraham helped Roma reach today’s Europa Conference League final against Feyenoord.
England travel to Budapest to face Hungary on June 4 before taking on Germany in Munich three days later. Southgate’s side then host Italy on June 11 in a repeat of last year’s Euro 2020 final before playing Hungary on June 14.
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