Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Sport | By Floyd Cook

Russian Federation 2018: England release final squad

Russian Federation 2018: England release final squad

Southgate has left goalkeeper Joe Hart and Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere behind.

"It just shows in football you never know".

And the still fresh-faced Alexander-Arnold shared an image from his England youth days after making a late burst into the senior squad for Russian Federation.

Was Leon Bailey *really* "trolling" England fans shortly before the announcement of their World Cup squad? No.

Several others included in the squad have tweeted to speak of the "honour" that has been bestowed upon them, with it clear to see that plenty of dreams have been made a reality this afternoon. Able to offer a range of expansive passing from deeper midfield positions, the 26-year-old would have been a valuable addition to an otherwise very uncreative English midfield.

However, don't fall for the suggestion that this is all part of a masterplan created to prepare for Qatar 2022, because football doesn't work like that. And despite three tournaments' worth of experience, two of those (Euro 2016 and World Cup 2014) ended in abject failure.

"We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season".

It is hard to question any of his selections.

The uncapped Alexander-Arnold is the youngest squad member after an incredible breakthrough season with Liverpool, which will culminate in next week's Champions League final against Real Madrid.

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A £7million buy from Leeds two years ago, Cook had been in contention to be selected after winning his first senior cap during a friendly against Italy in March.

Defensively, there are good options rather than great ones. Physically, he also struggles to compete against the most accomplished teams and players.

Tom Heaton believes Burnley team-mate Nick Pope is fully deserving of his spot in England's World Cup squad. Lallana's injury-ravaged season has cost him, with England also denied the services of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain following the knee injury he sustained last month.

Manager Gareth Southgate has also named Manchester City midfielder Fabian Delph and Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope in his intended group for this summer's tournament in Russian Federation. Among them is Arsenal's Danny Welbeck, who missed a chunk of the season through injury but was named alongside Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy and Marcus Rashford in the striking department.

Harry Kane will lead the line for the Three Lions with Marcus Rashford, Jamie Vardy, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck and Jesse Lingard providing additional firepower.

Indeed, another noteworthy aspect of the squad concerns the versatility offered by many players.

Chelsea's young midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has earned selection after an impressive season on loan at Crystal Palace.

"It wasn't an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it's important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russian Federation".

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