GARETH SOUTHGATE has snubbed Adam Lallana to go for broke by naming a string of youngsters in his England squad to take to the World Cup.
Southgate has ignored the claims of more experienced players, with Liverpool star Lallana the biggest name to miss out, and pinned his hopes on a novice group he hopes to lead the country to glory in Russia.
iCelebTV Adam Lallana has been forced to settle for a place as stand-by after being overlooked by Gareth Southgate
PA:Press Association Gareth Southgate has made bold choices since taking charge as England manager
iCelebTV Trent Alexander-Arnold has been named in the England squad for the World Cup – having never featured in the squad before
Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold and Burnley keeper Nick Pope are both included despite never having made a senior international appearance.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek has made the cut, with the Crystal Palace midfielder and Everton’s Jordan Pickford only boasting two caps apiece.
But there is a place in the travelling party for Gary Cahill, with the Chelsea defender’s experience and return to form in the last month of the season serving him well.
Southgate’s decision to axe Joe Hart from his plans means he will go to the tournament with three keepers who have just nine caps between them.
Rookie Pope and the highly-rated Pickford are joined by Stoke’s Jack Butland – the most experienced of the trio with just seven appearances to his name.
REUTERS Burnley keeper Nick Pope is one of two uncapped players Gareth Southgate is taking to the World Cup this summer
PA:Press Association Joe Hart has been axed – and does not even make the stand-by list with Tom Heaton getting that role
The decision to include Alexander-Arnold is perhaps the biggest shock, given the teenager has not figured in any senior squads until now.
But his form in the tail end of the season, in which he has impressed helping Liverpool reach the Champions League final, has tempted Southgate to give him his chance.
JACK THE LAD Wilshere jokes he’ll head to Zante instead of Russia after World Cup snub
Ironically, it was a season ending injury to his Anfield team-mate Joe Gomez that opened up a path into the group who will travel to Russia.
With Southgate keen on adopting a three-man defence with wing-backs in Russia, Trent-Alexander’s athleticism has seen him get the nod.
England World Cup squad 2018
Jordan Pickford: Age 24, Caps 2
Jack Butland: Age 25, Caps 7
Nick Pope: Age 26, Caps 0
Kyle Walker: Age 24, Caps 34
Trent Alexander-Arnold: Age 19, Caps 0
Kieran Tripper: Age 27, Caps 5
John Stones: Age 23, Caps 24
Harry Maguire: Age 25, Caps 4
Phil Jones: Age 26, Caps 24
Gary Cahill: Age 32, Caps 58
Danny Rose: Age 27, Caps 16
Ashley Young: Age 32, Caps 33
Eric Dier: Age 24, Caps 25
Dele Alli: Age 22, Caps 23
Jordan Henderson: Age 27, Caps 38
Jesse Lingard: Age 25, Caps 10
Ruben Loftus-Cheek: Age 22, Caps 2
Fabian Delph: Age 28, Caps 9
Raheem Sterling: Age 23, Caps 37
Harry Kane: Age 23, Caps 23
Jamie Vardy: Age 31, Caps 21
Marcus Rashford: Age 20, Caps 17
Danny Welbeck: Age 27, Caps 37
Lallana has missed the majority of the season for Liverpool through injury, and has been forced to settle for a place as stand-by, along with keeper Tom Heaton, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and James Tarkowski.
Southgate said: “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about.
“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’s Group G fixtures at Russia 2018
June 18: Tunisia, 7pm (Volgograd)
June 24: Panama, 1pm (Nizhy Novgorod)
June 28: Belgium, 7pm (Kaliningrad)
“We have a lot of energy and athleticism in the team, but players that are equally comfortable in possession of the ball and I think people can see the style of play we’ve been looking to develop.
“The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks. We feel the team are improving and we want to continue that momentum.