England World Cup 2018 squad revealed: Gareth Southgate names Trent Alexander-Arnold in 23 'to get excited about'

Matt Law
Gareth Southgate has named his 23-man England squad for the World Cup - PA

Gareth Southgate has claimed his England World Cup 2018 squad has been picked to excite the nation at this summer’s tournament.

Manager Southgate revealed his 23-man squad on Wednesday afternoon, with Adam Lallana, who is on the standby list, the big-name omission.

But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement.

“I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “We have a lot of energy and athleticism in the team, but players that are equally comfortable in possession of the ball and I think people can see the style of play we’ve been looking to develop.

“It is a young group, but with some really important senior players so I feel the balance of the squad is good, both in terms of its experience, its character and also the positional balance.”

As revealed by Telegraph Sport earlier today, Gary Cahill is part of the squad and Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level.

“The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “We feel the team are improving and we want to continue that momentum.

“The first call up for Trent Alexander-Arnold is well deserved. When we pick young players, it’s not just because they are young, it’s because their performances deserve it.

“We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.”

Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images

Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook.

“Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope.

“With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season.

“Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him.

Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images

“Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.”

Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked.

He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane.

World Cup predictor

Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues.

“All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.”

The majority of the England squad meet up at St George’s Park on Monday, with those involved in the FA Cup and Champions League final given some extra time off.

England play warm-up games against Nigeria on Saturday June 2 and Costa Rica on Thursday June 7 before flying out to Russia for the tournament.

England squad | World Cup 2018


Wonder what the voicemail said...


You picked largely the same players as Southgate

Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices

Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph.


An inexperienced squad

The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all.

They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016.

Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions.


Dele's excited


Ashley Young achieves a dream




Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford


Sweeping changes


By the way

This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: 


Back-up list

These five players are on the reserve list:

Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana


The headlines

  • No Adam Lallana in the squad
  • Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut
  • Jake Livermore misses out
  • Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected.


Squad in full


Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope


Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young


Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek


Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy


The England squad is here

England squad


Not long now

If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed.


Rumours galore

There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption.

Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports.

Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England.

NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this.


Jack makes other plans


So, what's still up in the air?

There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs.

  • There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire).
  • Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert.
Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images
  • Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder?
  • Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch.


Make football come home

Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool?

World Cup predictor


It's all go today

While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. 

There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone.

Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images


Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane

Matt Lawreports:

Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today.

And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level.

You can read the full story here.


Not long now

Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. 

Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager:

England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked

We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. 

He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper).

Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman?

Let's see what Southgate decides.