Jarrod Bowen has been given a last-gasp chance to force his way into England’s World Cup reckoning as Manchester United stars paid the price for their poor season. United may have pipped West Ham to seventh place on the final day of the Premier League season, but it is the 25-year-old Hammer who has been given his first call-up for the four UEFA Nations League games next month.
James Justin is another new name to be called up by Gareth Southgate – one of five right-backs in the 27-man list. But it is the omission of a number of recent England internationals from Old Trafford that will prove a wake-up call to anybody who thinks their place on the plane to Qatar in November is safe.
There is no place for Luke Shaw, as Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho – who is not 100 per cent fit – have again been overlooked, while Jesse Lingard another to miss out. Tyrone Mings and Jordan Henderson are other noticeable casualties.
Henderson’s omission is more explainable with the Nations League games coming hot on the heels of the Champions League final and little to be learned about the Liverpool skipper’s game. Mikel Arteta admitted he was a number of managers to contact Southgate to ask him to consider resting young players at the end of a hard season – to limited avail.
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In a hectic finale to the season, England travel to Budapest for the opening game against Hungary on June 3, to be played behind closed doors for disciplinary reasons. A full-bloodied encounter with Germany in Munich follows four days later before a home game against Italy on June 11, again in the absence of supporters.
This will be played at Molineux as punishment for the behaviour of England fans at the Euro 2020 final last summer before fans are allowed back in for the final international on June 14 when Wolves’ famous ground will host the return game against Hungary.