England introduced the lineup for the 2018 world Cup

Gareth Southgate

Gareth Southgate today named his 23-man England squad for the World Cup in Russian Federation and not for the first time during his reign, there were some surprising decisions.

Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold was a surprise selection.

Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley).

He did start nine of England's 10 World Cup qualification games, however, conceding only three goals and producing a superb display in Slovenia.

"I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about", England manager Southgate said.

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England boss Gareth Southgate should have taken a risk and included Jack Wilshere in his World Cup squad, according to Bournemouth captain Simon Francis.

"The first call up for Trent Alexander-Arnold is well deserved", Southgate said.

Without any of them, England's squad does look short of a player capable of unpicking a sturdy lock but perhaps Ruben Loftus-Cheek will be the man entrusted to provide some creativity.

At 32 and with 58 caps, Gary Cahill is the most experienced member of a squad with an average age of 25.5 and 20 caps on average.

England's performance in recent major events has been underwhelming with the nation being knocked out of the 2014 World Cup in the group stage and the 2016 European Championships in the round of 16 after a shock defeat by Iceland.

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Manchester City's Raheem Sterling has matured to the point where he has just had the finest season of his career, winning the Premier League title, so Southgate does have options around Harry Kane.

Most players will kick-off their World Cup preparations on Monday, although Manchester United and Chelsea players will get time off after the FA Cup final - just as those involved in Liverpool's Champions League final will.

Chelsea's young midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has earned selection after an impressive season on loan at Crystal Palace.

The squad are due to begin training together next week ahead of friendlies against Nigeria at Wembley on June 2 and Costa Rica in Leeds on June 7. "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 Russian Federation".

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