London: England manager Gareth Southgate called up Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford for the first time today but left out Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood from a 25-man squad for next month’s World Cup qualifiers.
Southgate’s side are leading Group I with nine points from three games and play Hungary, Andorra and Poland between Sept. 2-8.
Liverpool full back Trent Alexander-Arnold, Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard and Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope were also included.
Chelsea left back Ben Chilwell, who was in England’s Euro 2020 squad but did not feature in the run to the final against winners Italy at Wembley and has not played since Chelsea won the Champions League final in May, has been dropped.
Southgate said Bamford, 27, had been close to making the Euro squad in March and this was now a fresh cycle.
“We were always going to pick the bulk of the squad from the summer, we’re only two games into a new season so we were never looking to make a lot of changes,” he told reporters.
“Ben White has had a situation with COVID, Ben Chilwell hasn’t played a game since the Champions League final through no fault of his own... those two in particular are kind of ruled out.” Southgate said that with Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden and Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford both injured, opportunities had opened for others up front. We were very pleased with what Ollie Watkins did at the end of last season and now is an opportunity for Patrick as a number nine as well,” he said.
“I think his progress with Leeds has been excellent... a very close thing at the end of last season with us and this is a good chance for him to come back in. We worked with him at under-21 level so we know him anyway. A fabulous moment for him and his family.”
The manager said 19-year-old Greenwood remained very much in his thoughts, and he had spoken with him and United about what was best.
“He’s a player we really like and we think he’s got every possibility to be a top England player,” said Southgate.
“We are all very conscious that we make that progression at the right time. He is just breaking into the team at Manchester United with a lot of responsibility, that’s a big thing for a young player to deal with. We feel at the moment that the best thing for him after these first few games is that he stays with his club... it’s clear on his performances at the moment that he would warrant being in the squad, absolutely.”
Southgate said it was good for England that captain Harry Kane’s future now looked settled, with the talismanic striker staying at Tottenham Hotspur after being linked to Premier League champions Manchester City.
“He’s got a clear focus now and I’m sure he is looking forward to getting out on the pitch,” he said.
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Conor Coady, Reece James, Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings, Luke Shaw, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker
Midfielders: Jude Bellingham, Jordan Henderson, Jesse Lingard, Mason Mount, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice Forwards: Patrick Bamford, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Jack Grealish, Harry Kane, Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling