South Yorkshire's super six to take on the world with England

Florence Fletcher
May 17, 2018

Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold was a surprise selection.

Finally, after days of speculation, we now know Gareth Southgate's England World Cup squad.

Southgate has made 12 changes to the squad that floundered at Euro 2016 under Roy Hodgson, underlining his desire to build a group capable of providing long-term success - even if that means more experienced players missing out.

He said: "I found out when the squad was announced on Teletext, that's how old I am".

Burnley's James Tarkowski had to make do with a stand-by spot despite an impressive season where the Clarets qualified for the Europa League.

'We have a lot of energy and athleticism in the team, but players that are equally comfortable in possession and I think people can see the style of play we've been looking to develop'.

"The first call up for Trent Alexander-Arnold is well deserved".

Lean, strong in the tackle and athletic, Alexander-Arnold is the archetypal modern-day full back - attacking, energetic, and with a good delivery.

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Hart, 31 and with 75 England caps to his name, has one year remaining on his contract at City.

"It was an unbelievable moment to find out I was going to go to the World Cup, especially at a young age".

Marcus Rashford dreams to feature at the World Cup came through on Wednesday and the English man took to social media to pay tribute to his mother. "Thank you for all your kind messages!" Rashford wrote on Instagram: "After years of you standing on the touchline in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup!".

The inclusion of versatile players like Alexander-Arnold, Ashley Young and Fabian Delph, who can all play in defense and midfield, provides options for Southgate, who has tinkered with 4-3-3, 3-4-3 and 3-5-2 formations.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek caught the eye on his worldwide debut against Germany in November and could emerge as a midfield force in Russian Federation, while the versatile Fabian Delph has proved a class act for Manchester City this season.

Sterling is vastly improved under Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola and one of the few current England players who can be described as world class, while Alli has the potential to hit the same heights.

The England boss has included Ruben Loftus-Cheek after he built on November's impressive worldwide debut on-loan at Crystal Palace, while Burnley's Nick Pope was selected for the third goalkeeping spot behind Jordan Pickford and Jack Butland.

England will play two matches before travelling to Russian Federation on June 2 against Nigeria at Wembley and on June 7 against Costa Rica at Elland Road.

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