Callum Wilson gets first England call-up for USA and Croatia matches

Ed Aarons on 8 November 2018

Callum Wilson has been called up by England for the first time after an impressive start to the season with Bournemouth.

The striker has been named by Gareth Southgate for the friendly against USA and the Nations League match against Croatia.

Wilson, who has six goals in 11 Premier League matches this season, joins Jadon Sancho and – for the USA game only – Wayne Rooney among the forward chosen by Southgate.

“We know plenty about him,” Southgate said of Wilson. “He’s a threat running in behind defences, so this will be a good opportunity to look at him and try to see how he fits in to what we are trying to do.”

The manager defended the inclusion of Rooney. “There have been ongoing discussions since Wayne retired about paying tribute to him and his England career,” said Southgate, who added Rooney had declined an opportunity to be honoured before the World Cup so as not to take the attention away from those going to Russia.

“Those discussions started 12 months ago. We have an opportunity with the game at Wembley to pay tribute. I am still able to look to the future with the squad we’ve picked, but we’ve talked a lot about the history of the shirt.

“We have brought former players back to speak and present shirts. I think all the players respect Wayne’s contribution and that he deserves the best possible send-off.”

Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Dele Alli and Jesse Lingard have been included in the squad after missing the most recent internationals. James Maddison and Mason Mount have dropped out because of injuries and the Everton defender Michael Keane is included for the first time in 12 months.

England squad for USA and Croatia

Goalkeepers: Bettinelli, Butland, McCarthy, Pickford.

Defenders:
Alexander-Arnold, Chilwell, Dunk, Gomez, Keane, Shaw, Stones, Trippier, Walker.

Midfielders:
Barkley, Alli, Delph, Dier, Henderson, Lingard, Loftus-Cheek, Winks.

Forwards
: Kane, Rashford, Sancho, Sterling, Welbeck, Wilson, Rooney

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