London: Fikayo Tomori earned a recall to England’s squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Hungary, with coach Gareth Southgate saying on Thursday the center back has been rewarded for impressive performances in high-pressure games for AC Milan.
The 23-year-old Tomori joined Milan on a permanent basis from Chelsea in June after a spell on loan at the Italian club in the second half of last season.
With Harry Maguire sidelined because of a calf injury, Tomori is back in the England squad as one of four center backs and could earn his second senior cap for his country - after making his debut in November 2019 against Kosovo in a European Championship qualifier.
‘‘He’s playing at a club where there’s an expectation to win every week, so he’s performing under pressure,” Southgate said.
‘‘I like Fikayo in terms of his aggressiveness as a defender. Because he’s got speed he’s confident enough to defend on the front foot and his use of the ball is improving all the time.’’
Ollie Watkins returned for the first time since being cut from the provisional Euro 2020 squad and uncapped goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale was back having been brought into the squad that reached the final following an injury to Dean Henderson.
Right back Trent Alexander-Arnold joined Maguire in dropping out of the squad through injury while Patrick Bamford, Nick Pope and Jude Bellingham also missed out.
Phil Foden was recalled after missing games in September because of a foot complaint.
England is top of its qualifying group after five wins and a draw, four points clear of second-placed Albania.
Giroud left out
France coach Didier Deschamps, meanwhile, again left out veteran striker Olivier Giroud on Thursday for the Nations League semi-final match against Belgium next week.
Giroud turned 35 on Thursday and is second on France’s all-time scoring list with 46 goals, close behind Thierry Henry’s record of 51.
But he has fallen out of favor with Deschamps.
The former Chelsea striker was also left out of the last squad and expressed his surprise last Sunday in a television interview, saying Deschamps had not informed him prior to announcing the roster.
Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford, Sam Johnstone, Aaron Ramsdale Defenders: Conor Coady, Reece James, Tyrone Mings, Luke Shaw, John Stones, Fikayo Tomori, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker. Midfielders: Phil Foden, Jordan Henderson, Jesse Lingard, Mason Mount, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice.
Forwards: Jack Grealish, Harry Kane, Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling, Ollie Watkins.
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Mike Maignan (AC Milan), Benoit Costil (Bordeaux). Defenders: Lucas Digne (Everton), Leo Dubois (Lyon), Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Jules Kounde (Sevilla), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich), Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich), Raphael Varane (Manchester United). Midfielders: Matteo Guendouzi (Marseille), Theo Hernandez (AC Milan), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Aurelien Tchouameni (Monaco), Jordan Veretout (Roma). Forwards: Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Moussa Diaby (Bayer Leverkusen), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Anthony Martial (Manchester United), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain).