England news: West Ham’s Michail Antonio handed first call-up as Sam Allardyce names first Three Lions squad

29 Aug

Sam Allardyce has named uncapped West Ham midfielder Michail Antonio in his first England squad, but there is no place for Everton’s Ross Barkley.

Allardyce named 23 players for the World Cup 2018 qualifier in Slovakia, with Antonio getting the nod on the same day he scored in a losing effort against Manchester City.

Barkley, who was an unused squad member at Euro 2016, has been dropped despite scoring twice in his first four matches this season.

In all there are five changes from the squad that failed in France this summer, with Luke Shaw, Phil Jagielka, Danny Drinkwater and Theo Walcott all returning.

The retired James Milner drops out along with Marcus Rashford, who has been named in the Under-21s, and injured pair Jack Wilshere and Ryan Bertrand.

No captain has been named, with Allardyce unlikely to nominate his chosen man until after the squad get together at St George’s Park on Monday evening, but the previous incumbent Wayne Rooney is listed among the midfielders.

The country’s record goalscorer played in central midfield in France but his United manager Jose Mourinho has called time on that experiment and Allardyce had been expected to follow suit.

Explaining his decision to bring Antonio aboard, Allardyce told http://www.thefa.com: “I think he’s in outstanding form.

“This is another lad with a great journey – it’s a fantastic journey that he’s been on, from non-league to now an international call-up. He scored nine goals in his first season and he’s a terrific athlete, a good crosser and a goal-scorer.

“I’m looking forward to him coming, and looking forward to meeting everybody. Hopefully we will have a good few days’ preparation and get to know each other on the basis of trying to go and win in Slovakia.”

Goalkeepers: Forster (Southampton), Hart (Man City), Heaton (Burnley).

Defenders: Cahill (Chelsea), Clyne (Liverpool), Jagielka (Everton), Rose (Tottenham), Shaw (Man Utd), Smalling (Man Utd), Stones (Man City), Walker (Tottenham).

Midfielders: Alli (Tottenham), Antonio (West Ham), Dier (Tottenham), Drinkwater (Leicester), Henderson (Liverpool), Lallana (Liverpool), Rooney (Man Utd), Sterling (Man City), Walcott (Arsena).

Forwards: Kane (Tottenham), Sturridge (Liverpool), Vardy (Leicester).


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