Lingard called to England squad as Johnson, Townsend make comebacks

Jesse Lingard of England in action a training session held at the Legionarska Stadium, Olomouc, Czech Republic, 22 June 2015. The team is preparing for their third match in the Under-21 European Championship against Italy in the Czech Republic on 24 June 2015. EPA/PETER POWELL .

Manchester United winger Jesse Lingard has been called up by interim England manager Gareth Southgate for World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovenia.

The 23-year-old winger, part of Southgate’s Under-21 squad at the 2015 European Championship, has scored one goal in four United games this season.

Club team-mate Marcus Rashford is back in the senior squad after scoring a hat-trick against Norway Under-21s.

Southgate has taken on the England role after Sam Allardyce left on Tuesday.

He will take charge of the Wembley game with Malta on Saturday and the trip to Slovenia three days later.

Lingard has been named in the senior squad once before, but failed to make it onto the field inEngland’s 2-0 friendly win over France in November.

Stoke right-back Glen Johnson returns to the England set-up for the first time since the 2014 World Cup, while winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is back after a year’s absence.

Also lucky to return is Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend who replaced Raheem Sterling after the Manchester City winger pulled out because of injury.

Townsend, 25, has played 11 times for his country and scored three goals, but was not selected for Euro 2016.

He has played in all seven of Palace’s league games since joining from Newcastle for £13m in the summer.

No details have yet been given on Manchester City forward Sterling’s injury.

Southgate said that Leicester midfielder Danny Drinkwater had been ruled out after picking up an injury at the weekend, as were Liverpool pair Adam Lallana and Nathaniel Clyne who were injured in the Reds’ win at Swansea on Saturday.

“We’ve tried to keep some continuity from last month because my view would be that there are a lot of things that have been going right,” said Southgate.

“We’ve had a few people unavailable through injury like Harry Kane and Jack Butland, while Luke Shaw isn’t quite back fit yet. That’s had a bearing on the squad.”

England lie second in Group F, level on three points with leaders Scotland, after Lallana’s late goal gave Allardyce victory away to Slovakia in his only match in charge.

After the Malta and Slovenia games, Southgate also has the home game against Scotland on 11 November and a friendly against Spain on 15 November to press his claim for the job before the Football Association makes a decision on a permanent appointment.

Allardyce’s reign came to an end after only 67 days after he was filmed apparently advising undercover reporters on how to get around rules over third parties owning players.

Updated England squad

Goalkeepers: Fraser Forster (Southampton), Joe Hart (Torino, on loan from Manchester City), Tom Heaton (Burnley)

Defenders: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Glen Johnson (Stoke), Danny Rose (Tottenham), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kyle Walker (Tottenham)

Midfielders: Eric Dier (Tottenham), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Michail Antonio (West Ham), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace)

Strikers: Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Jamie Vardy (Leicester)


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