Alexander-Arnold, Loftus-Cheek named in England squad

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Gareth Southgate had displayed his ruthless streak as England manager long before the confirmation of his 23-man World Cup squad and those left out on Wednesday were the latest examples of his determination not to be swayed by reputation.

Experienced goalkeeper Joe Hart was left out of the squad for Russian Federation, as was Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere who between them have been capped more than 100 times.

Southgate's number one goalkeeping choice for Russian Federation is sure to be broached on Thursday morning, along with questions on the captaincy and composition of his stand-by list.

Trent Alexander-Arnold makes the team, but will likely be the third choice right-back behind Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier.

"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". Out of the three, they are the established names but on form Pope has probably outshone both of them this season.

By contrast, Everton's Pickford, Stoke's Butland and Pope have all played full seasons for their clubs.

Southgate will instead rely on Jordan Henderson, Eric Dier, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Jesse Lingard, and Fabian Delph as his central midfield options.

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Manchester United's Marcus Rashford - a rookie in France two years ago but now an established member of the squad - and Leicester livewire Jamie Vardy will be ready to answer the call if Southgate needs to shake things up.

Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana have been named on Southgate's standby list.

Another former England great Gary Lineker, who won the World Cup Golden Boot in 1986, believes Kane will relish the responsibility of spearheading England's campaign in Russian Federation.

"We're trying to change the style of play, we have our young players developing with better technical ability with the ball".

"The selection process has been over months really, it's not just been the last few weeks".

There can be no escaping the fact that this squad is largely unproven at worldwide level, with the shadow of Euro 2016 and the defeat against Iceland still hanging over the team at a major tournament.

Alexander-Arnold enjoyed a stunning breakthrough season with Liverpool and is in line to start when Jürgen Klopp's men face Real Madrid in next weekend's Champions League final.

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