Harry Maguire, Nathaniel Chalobah Named in England Squad for Malta, Slovakia

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IAugust 24, 2017

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11:  A dejected Harry Maguire of Leicester City applauds the travelling fans following their team's 4-3 defeat during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium on August 11, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Leicester City defender Harry Maguire and Watford midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah are the surprise inclusions in the England squad for the Three Lions' upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers. 

England manager Gareth Southgate announced his squad on Thursday for the games away in Malta on September 1 and at Wembley against Slovakia on September 4.

The full squad for the two games was confirmed by the team's official Twitter feed:

There is, of course, no place for Wayne Rooney in the squad after the Football Association confirmed the Everton striker's retirement from international football earlier this week. 

Maguire moved to Leicester City in the summer after an impressive season with Hull City last year, with his contribution to the Tigers' cause well illustrated by WhoScored.com:

The 24-year-old made his debut against Arsenal and then scored his first goal for the Foxes against Brighton, and the Telegraph's Matt Law feels some of the Premier League's bigger clubs may regret not signing him this summer:

Chalobah is the other surprise inclusion, and he was also on the move this summer, swapping Chelsea for Watford, which Goal's Nizaar Kinsella feels may have helped his international hopes:

Southgate has said part of the reason he opted to include Maguire and Chalobah was due to the pair's displays at the UEFA Under-21 Championship in Poland, per Henry Winter at the Times:

The only other uncapped player to be called up is Jordan Pickford, who is included following his summer move to Everton. He is one of four goalkeepers in the squad.

Southgate has gone for eight forwards, including Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge, while Jermain Defoe also retains his place.

The England boss has named a 28-man squad for the two games, although this could be due to injury concerns over some players, per Matt Law at the Telegraph:

Meanwhile, there is no room in the squad for Ryan Sessegnonwho had been tipped for a call-up after being left out of the youth sidesFraser Forster, Chris Smalling or Theo Walcott.

The England captaincy is also yet to be decided with Southgate saying he is in no rush to make a decision on who will wear the armband on a permanent basis, per Winter:

It is a large and youthful squad selected by Southgate with the focus clearly on the future. The England boss appears keen to see a number of young players in action as he aims to guide his side to next summer's FIFA World Cup finals in Russia.

The game against bottom of the group, Malta, may give Southgate the chance to see some of the younger members of his squad in action, although a stronger team could be picked for the visit of Slovakia, who sit second in the group, two points behind the Three Lions.

Related

    Barcelona Confident of Closing $80M de Ligt Deal

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Barcelona Confident of Closing $80M de Ligt Deal

    via mirror

    Pogba's Agent to Meet Juve

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Pogba's Agent to Meet Juve

    Rob Blanchette
    via Bleacher Report

    Liverpool Ready to Sell Fabinho to Fund Pulisic Move

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Liverpool Ready to Sell Fabinho to Fund Pulisic Move

    via mirror

    Wasteful Immobile Has Ran Out of Chances for Italy

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Wasteful Immobile Has Ran Out of Chances for Italy

    Gianni Verschueren
    via Bleacher Report