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Harry Kane Headlines England's 2022 World Cup Roster; Fikayo Tomori Left out of Squad

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVNovember 10, 2022

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 26:  Jude Bellingham and Harry Kane of England shake hands during the UEFA Nations League League A Group 3 match between England and Germany at Wembley Stadium on September 26, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
Visionhaus/Getty Images

England coach Gareth Southgate announced his 26-man squad for the 2022 World Cup on Thursday.

Tottenham's Harry Kane headlines a forward line that also includes Manchester City's Jack Grealish and Phil Foden.

B/R Football @brfootball

England’s squad for the World Cup 🦁 <a href="https://t.co/VskjsDeEb3">pic.twitter.com/VskjsDeEb3</a>

Brentford's Ivan Toney and Roma's Tammy Abraham were among the notable omissions in the attack. Southgate's decision to leave out AC Milan center back Fiyako Tomori is bound to generate discussion as well.

For some supporters, declining to take Tomori while including Manchester United's Harry Maguire simply doesn't make sense.

Maguire has a decided edge in experience at the club and national team levels, which can be valuable to have at a major tournament. The 29-year-old has also been out of form dating back to last year.

If you're going purely on merit, then it's difficult to overlook Tomori:

Charles Watts @charles_watts

Southgate saying Abraham has missed out purely because he lost form at the wrong time is pretty laughable really, considering he's taking Maguire over Tomori.

Matteo Bonetti @Bonetti

Also - genuinely curious here, how many games has Harry Maguire played where he’s been an abomination? I can count Tomori’s poor/average performances on one hand. <br><br>He’s paid the ultimate tax for not being a Premier League footballer

Southgate called Maguire "one of our best center backs."

Football Daily @footballdaily

🗣 "He's one of our best centre-backs."<br><br>Gareth Southgate on Harry Maguire's inclusion in the England squad <a href="https://t.co/FaNI1EJyQC">pic.twitter.com/FaNI1EJyQC</a>

"We've picked our more experienced defenders, and we think at this moment in time, the younger ones have got some really good qualities but we don't think they've quite done enough to push the more experienced ones out," he told reporters.

Southgate could've kept Maguire by having Tomori take the place of Tottenham Hotspur's Eric Dier instead. Dier's error directly leading to a goal for Mohamed Salah in a 2-1 loss to Liverpool symbolized how inconsistent he has been lately.

B/R Football @brfootball

Eric Dier 😳<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/NBCSportsSoccer?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NBCSportsSoccer</a>)<a href="https://t.co/R6SqMCgjnr">pic.twitter.com/R6SqMCgjnr</a>

Right back was one area where Southgate was spared from having to make a difficult choice.

Chelsea defender Reece James announced Wednesday a knee injury will force him to miss the World Cup. That all but guaranteed a place in the England squad for Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Alexander-Arnold is one of the best attacking fullbacks in the world, but his defensive contributions have brought deserved criticism this season. In recent weeks, it looked like his World Cup status was in flux.

Expectations for England couldn't be much higher as the Three Lions prepare for their trip to Qatar. Finishing fourth at the 2018 World Cup and reaching the Euro 2020 final has many believing this could be the year the country returns to the apex of international soccer.

A 4-0 loss to Hungary in June followed by a 1-0 loss to Italy and a 3-3 draw with Germany in September have tempered the optimism for some, though. The pressure will be on Southgate to deliver because his tenure may not survive an early exit.