England Squad: Sam Johnstone and Ollie Watkins Among Gareth Southgate’s Picks

England squad

West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper and Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins have been called up to the England squad for the March internationals.

Gareth Southgate’s side will face San Marino, Albania and Poland in the first three of their 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

Sam Johnstone and Ollie Watkins Named in England Squad

 

First Call-Ups

While Johnstone has featured for England at youth level, playing for the U16s, U17s, U18s and U19s, it’s his first call-up to the senior national side.

His selection comes after it was confirmed that Jordan Pickford, Southgate’s regular first-choice, would miss the matches through injury.

The other goalkeepers in the squad are Nick Pope of Burnley and Manchester United’s Dean Henderson, giving Johnstone fair competition to don the gloves in the upcoming games.

Watkins, meanwhile, receives his first call-up to England at any age level. The Aston Villa forward has had an excellent debut season in the Premier League after signing from Brentford, scoring ten times in 27 games, while adding a further two goals in cup competitions.

Returning Players

As well as those maiden selections, John Stones has returned to the England set-up, getting his first call-up since October 2019. Meanwhile, Luke Shaw is in for the first time since the Nations League fixture against Spain in September 2018, and Jesse Lingard’s form on loan at West Ham United has seen him come in for the first time since the Nations League finals in Portugal in 2019.

Squad in Full

Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson (Manchester United), Sam Johnstone (West Bromwich Albion), Nick Pope (Burnley)

Defenders: Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Conor Coady (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Reece James (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid), Kyle Walker (Manchester City)

Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jesse Lingard (West Ham United, on loan from Manchester United), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United), Declan Rice (West Ham United), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)

Forwards: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa)

 

Main Photo

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