MX23RW : Wednesday, November 14 22:33:49

Gareth Southgate happy with squad balance after naming travelling party

Gareth Southgate happy with squad balance
© Offside
Gareth Southgate believes that England's 23-man squad for Russia 2018 is 'exciting' and has the right balance between youth and experience.

England boss Gareth Southgate has declared himself happy with his 23-man squad for this summer's World Cup finals in Russia.

Southgate did not name any wildcard options in his travelling party for the quadrennial tournament, meaning no room for Ryan Sessegnon or Jadon Sancho - two players reportedly in the manager's thinking.

The Three Lions' squad does include uncapped defender Trent Alexander-Arnold, however, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek - used just twice at senior level - has also been included.

Among the big-name absentees are Joe Hart, Jack Wilshere, Chris Smalling, Ryan Bertrand and Adam Lallana, the latter of whom has been included on the stand-by list, and Southgate has justified his decision to leave out some key men.

"I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about," he told the Football Association's official website. "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.

"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.

"The selection process has been over months really, it's not just been the last few weeks. 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."

Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook and Jake Livermore have also been named on England's stand-by list.


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Ruben Loftus-Cheek in action during the international friendly between England and Germany on November 10, 2017
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City1210203653132
2Liverpool129302351830
3Chelsea128402781928
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs1290320101027
5Arsenal1273226151124
6Bournemouth126242116520
7Watford126241714320
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd126242021-120
9Everton125431915419
10Leicester CityLeicester125251716117
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves124441213-116
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton124261318-514
13West Ham UnitedWest Ham123361418-412
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle12237915-69
15Burnley122371225-139
16Crystal Palace12228817-98
17Southampton12156821-138
18Cardiff CityCardiff122281125-148
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield12147622-167
20Fulham121291131-205

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