England’s 2018 World Cup squad: Adam Lallana out, Trent Alexander-Arnold in
Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana missed out on England boss Gareth Southgate’s 23-man World Cup squad as club team-mate Trent Alexander-Arnold earned a first call-up for the finals in Russia.
Gary Cahill returns in defence, and with goalkeeper Joe Hart absent as expected, the Chelsea defender is England’s most experienced player with 58 caps.
Lallana joins goalkeeper Tom Heaton, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and James Tarkowski on the stand-by list.
Forward Danny Welbeck is rewarded for his form in Arsenal's run to the semi-finals of the Europa League, but 34-times capped team-mate Jack Wilshere misses out with young Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek included after impressing during a friendly against Germany last November.
Loftus-Cheek, 22, has spent the season on loan at Crystal Palace and was pivotal in ensuring they preserved their Premier League status under former England manager Roy Hodgson - playing 27 times as Palace finished 11th in the table.
Alexander-Arnold caps a dream season by earning a place in the squad after making his Liverpool debut in October 2016 and helping his team reach the Champions League final against Real Madrid on May 26.
The uncapped 19-year-old right-back earns a place despite having yet to play for England in only his second season in the senior game.
“We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us."
Joe Hart was told by England manager Gareth Southgate he is not going to the World Cup. (Andrew Matthews/PA Images)PA Sport
U21 international Alexander-Arnold trained with England before the friendlies with Italy and Netherlands in March.
He has made 32 appearances for Jurgen Klopp's side this season with Southgate admitting he was excited by the player's ability.
Fabian Delph makes the cut despite winning the last of his nine caps against Spain in November 2015.
But he has played 29 times for Manchester City this term, and gets the nods because of his versatility in being able to operate at full-back or midfield. Ashley Young is also named, and could win a starting spot as a left wing-back.
Southgate explained the decision to omit 75-times capped goalkeeper Joe Hart and Ryan Bertrand, who loses out to Danny Rose.
"Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved," he said.
"With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season."
“Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season but I just felt the others were ahead of him.
“Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.”
Kyle Walker's ability to play in central defence as part of a back three has apparently given Alexander-Arnold the chance of a call-up.
But his Anfield team-mates Joe Gomez and Nathaniel Clyne both miss out on the squad.
“I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,“ said Southgate, whose forward threats are the strongest part of his squad boasting Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Jamie Vardy, Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford.
"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."
England have warm-up matches with Nigeria at Wembley on June 2 and Costa Rica at Elland Road on June 7.
They begin their finals campaign against Tunisia on June 18 before facing Panama on June 24 and concluding their group G matches against Belgium on June 28.
ENGLAND'S 23-MAN WORLD CUP SQUAD
- Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke City), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley)
- Defenders: John Stones (Manchester City), Harry Maguire (Leicester City), Phil Jones (Manchester Utd), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Ashley Young (Manchester Utd), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
- Midfielders: Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester Utd), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City)
- Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Marcus Rashford (Manchester Utd), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur),