England manager Gareth Southgate appears ready to experiment in this month’s friendlies against Germany and Brazil after calling up Tammy Abraham, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Joe Gomez.
Swansea striker Abraham, Crystal Palace midfielder Loftus-Cheek – both on loan from Chelsea – and Liverpool defender Gomez received their first senior call-ups for the Wembley double-header – but Daniel Sturridge, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Chris Smalling are among those to have missed out.
Speaking at a press conference at Wembley, Southgate said: “If I’m asking club managers to be brave and pick young players, I think I’ve got to do the same.”
Manchester United’s Ashley Young, who last played for his country in September 2013, has been rewarded for his resurgent form with a call-up, while Tottenham full-back Danny Rose and Leicester striker Jamie Vardy return from injury.
On 32-year-old Young’s recall, Southgate said: “Generally speaking we want to look at younger players, and develop the team, but I’ve always said if a more senior player is playing well and warrants the call-up, we should include them.
“He’s a player every Manchester United manager has picked, and that tells me something about his mentality and the trust they have in him.”
Spurs midfielder Harry Winks was included after a fine debut in Lithuania, as was Manchester City’s Fabian Delph, but Arsenal pair Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott have missed out.
Defending the omission of Wilshere, despite his club manager Arsene Wenger having tipped the midfielder for a recall earlier this week, Southgate said: “I don’t know how you can get in an England squad without getting in an Arsenal team.
“There is no question in our mind about Jack Wilshere’s ability and football brain and personality, we just need to see him playing regular league football before we think it is right to put him back in.
“I did have a conversation with Arsene about him on Saturday because he is a top player so for him it is just game-time.”
Southgate has sacrificed Smalling so he can take a look at younger defenders, such as Gomez.
“I have huge respect for Chris. He is a player playing at a big club,” Southgate said.
“We want to play in a certain way and the players I have brought in I want to see using the ball from the back and building it up in a certain way.
“And that is a style thing I want to look at. I know what Chris can do.
“There are a few young defenders that haven’t got as many games under their belt and I think it is a great chance to see what they can do and see if they can play at this level.”
Everton’s Michael Keane, who has been struggling with a foot complaint, was another notable name missing, while Jermain Defoe, Aaron Cresswell, Fraser Forster and Jake Livermore are others from the previous squad to not be involved.
England play Germany on Friday, November 10, and welcome Brazil the following Tuesday.