MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) – England manager Gareth Southgate has called up four uncapped players into his squad for September’s Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo.
Manchester United right back Aaron Wan-Bissaka, centre half Tyrone Mings of Aston Villa and midfielders James Maddison of Leicester City and Chelsea’s Mason Mount all have a chance of making their debuts.
There are recalls to the squad for right-back Kieran Trippier, who recently moved from Tottenham Hotspur to Atletico Madrid, Spurs midfielder Harry Winks and Liverpool’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
There is no place in the squad however for Manchester City full back Kyle Walker.
“We only have eight matches before I’ve got to name the squad for the European Championships. September is always a difficult squad to name because of the limited games at club level,” Southgate said.
“Fitness and the importance of it has dictated some of the squad as has some of the exciting young players we want to look at and get involved.”
Wan-Bissaka moved from Crystal Palace to United in the close season and Southgate said he has been impressed with how he has handled that switch.
“We tracked him all last year. He’s adapted well and quickly to a high profile move. Playing in front of 70,000 fans brings an intensity and pressure,” he said.
The recall for Oxlade-Chamberlain is somewhat surprising given he has only recently returned to full fitness after a lengthy injury absence.
“We’re quite clear he would probably have been in our starting team at the World Cup,” said the England boss.
“Hopefully we can play a part in getting him fully up to speed,” he added.
Mount played in the second tier for Derby County last season after spending the previous year in the Netherlands with Vitesse Arnhem and has earned his call-up after just three games in the Premier League with Chelsea.
“Mason is in on merit. He looks like threatening the goal every time he plays. I’ve watched him since 16 playing through the various age groups,” said Southgate.
“He’s not in based on three games this season, he’s in on the back after a successful year in the Eredivisie, a year at Derby and he’s improved at every level he’s played at.”
Goalkeeper Jack Butland, who was back-up to first choice Jordan Pickford but who is struggling with Championship (second tier) Stoke City was left out with Burnley’s Nick Pope recalled and Aston Villa’s Tom Heaton also included.
England face Bulgaria at Wembley on Sept. 7 and Kosovo at Southampton’s St Mary’s stadium three days later.
(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Christian Radnedge)