Alli and Ings gain England call-ups for final Euro 2016 qualifiers
England manager Roy Hodgson has announced his 24-man squad to face Estonia and Lithuania in their final two Euro 2016 Group E qualifiers, with Dele Alli and Danny Ings being the new additions.
Many had expected that Tottenham’s Alli was to get a senior Three Lions call-up in the near future after making an immediate successful transition from MK Dons in League One to the Premier League.
However, Ings’ first England inclusion may come as a surprise to many, with the Liverpool striker managing just two goals in all competitions this term so far. He has been picked ahead of clubmate Daniel Sturridge, who has only just returned from injury.
But Hodgson spoke on the two potential debutants: “Danny is someone we followed with the Under-21s last year and this was a good opportunity to bring him in after scoring goals for Liverpool.
“We’ve been impressed with Dele Alli, and this is a chance to get to know him. He’s a very exciting talent,” he added.
Who's looking forward to seeing these Dele Alli skills in an England shirt? https://t.co/6egHAMsAiP
— Coral (@Coral) October 1, 2015
There were also rumours that Jack Grealish, who recently declared himself for England ahead of Republic of Ireland, could get the call too, but the Aston Villa starlet wouldn’t have had international clearance in time.
But Hodgson did comment on the young attacker, saying: “I’m pleased Jack has chosen England. He has talent to be an England player, what matters now is how he plays.”
Usual suspects such as captain and new Three Lions record scorer Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane, Joe Hart and Chris Smalling have all made the strong-looking squad, despite England having already qualified for the France finals.
There is plenty of youth to pick from too, with Jack Butland, John Stones, Phil Jones, Ross Barkley, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jonjo Shelvey and Raheem Sterling also included.
As left backs Luke Shaw and Leighton Baines are out injured, there is a recall for Ryan Bertrand as back-up to Kieran Gibbs.
England have taken maximum points from their first eight qualifiers this campaign, and are confirmed group winners. They host Estonia first up on October 9th (and are odds-on 1/9 favourites to triumph), before travelling to Lithuania three days later in the hope of completing a 100 per cent record.
— England (@england) October 1, 2015
England’s 24-man squad to face Estonia and Lithuania
Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke City), Joe Hart (Manchester City), Tom Heaton (Burnley)
Defenders: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool), Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), John Stones (Everton)
Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham), Ross Barkley (Everton), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), James Milner (Liverpool), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Jonjo Shelvey (Swansea City), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
Forwards: Danny Ings (Liverpool), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Theo Walcott (Arsenal)