Gareth Southgate says Wayne Rooney has earned the right to win his 120th cap
AFC Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 28-man England squad for this month’s fixtures against the United States and Croatia at Wembley Stadium.
It’s Wilson’s first call-up to the senior squad after impressing for the Cherries this season with seven goals so far in the Premier League. The 26-year-old was previously capped at Under-21 level.
Wilson is joined in Southgate’s squad by Everton defender Michael Keane, who returns to the England fold for the first time since October last year. Meanwhile, Fabian Delph, Dele Alli, Jesse Lingard and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are also selected after missing last month’s matches because of injury.
Speaking today England boss Southgate said: “Bournemouth have started the season really well. Callum is a striker we worked with briefly with the Under-21s so we know plenty about him.
“He’s a threat in terms of running in behind defences. He’s been involved with either scoring or assists, with a high number of goals this season. It’s a good opportunity for us to have a look at him and see how he fits into what we do, and for him to get a feel of working with the senior team.”
“We are a strange country.%u201D
Gareth Southgate is discussing reaction to Wayne Rooney%u2019s inclusion after the England squad announcement.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) November 8, 2018
‘Rooney deserves opportunity’
As confirmed this week Wayne Rooney makes his return to international football and will win his 120th England cap in the game against the US.
The former Manchester United and Everton forward, who now plays for DC United in Major League Soccer, will make a special farewell appearance for the Three Lions at Wembley.
Rooney’s recall has been a major talking point for football pundits and fans but Southgate says his achievements in an England shirt means he deserves the opportunity. The 33-year-old is England’s all-time record scorer with 53 goals.
“If somebody is going to earn that cap it is someone who has got 119 more than someone who has one,” said Southgate. “I think he’s earned the right to that cap over a period of over ten years, six major tournaments and being our record goalscorer.
“We are a strange country as in that we bemoan the fact we haven’t achieved as much as we like. We have a player who should be held in the highest regard yet we spend a lot of time justifying that tribute.
“I am looking forward to seeing and working with him in the next few days.”
Sky Sports reports that Southgate has confirmed that Rooney will not start the match against the US.
England’s final 2018 fixtures
The Three Lions play twice at Wembley this month. First up is an international friendly against the United States on Thursday 15 November (8pm). They then face Croatia on Sunday 18 November (2pm) in the Uefa Nations League. Both matches will be live on Sky Sports.
England squad in full
- Goalkeepers: Marcus Bettinelli (Fulham), Jack Butland (Stoke City), Alex McCarthy (Southampton), Jordan Pickford (Everton)
- Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Ben Chilwell (Leicester City), Lewis Dunk (Brighton & Hove Albion), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Michael Keane (Everton), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City)
- Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Ross Barkley (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur)
- Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Wayne Rooney (DC United)*, Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal), Callum Wilson (AFC Bournemouth)
* Only selected for the US match