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Monday 12 May 2014

Premier League starlets prominent in England World Cup squad

22 BPL players selected in Roy Hodgson's England squad including 11 players with 10 caps or fewer

Southampton's Adam Lallana (left) and Everton's Ross Barkley will be on the plane to Brazil

All but one of Roy Hodgson’s 23-man England squad that was announced on Monday come from clubs in the Barclays Premier League.

"You can't ignore what people are doing on a week-to-week, day-to-day basis for their club sides"
Roy Hodgson

England are in Group D and open their campaign against Italy on 14 June, before facing Uruguay and Costa Rica.

Liverpool, runners-up in the Barclays Premier League, provide the most players (five), with the new champions Manchester City having two. Four Manchester United players are in the squad, while Southampton and Everton have three and Arsenal and Chelsea two each. West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Ben Foster is also selected.

With only six of the party having been to a FIFA World Cup before Hodgson has picked a relatively inexperienced squad with an average age of 25.95 years, but the 66-year-old said the young players deserved their chance to shine on the international stage.

"They've imposed themselves upon me," he said. "They've played so well, done so well, been so effective for their club teams and had such success, they've imposed their ability on my thinking.

"You can't ignore what people are doing on a week-to-week, day-to-day basis for their club sides. You don't pick football teams with anything other than what's happening at any particular time. They deserve credit for making sure I couldn't ignore them."

Eleven of the 23 players have won just 10 caps for England or fewer, including Everton's Ross Barkley, who has made just 47 Barclays Premier League appearances for the Merseysiders after graduating from the Academy.

"A very exciting talent," said Hodgson of the 20-year-old. "If he can continue at that level he has a bright future ahead of him.

"I hope people are realistic with the level of expectation. We think he can be a very exciting member of the team, but I don't want people to think every time he gets the ball he can score a goal like he did against Manchester City, or he can run 40 yards and dribble past people. Footballers don't do that."

Hodgson admitted it was particularly difficult to leave out Chelsea's Ashley Cole in favour of Southampton's 18-year-old left-back Luke Shaw, but felt it important to think about the future.

"One player has 107 caps and one has many caps to come," said Hodgson. "It was a hard job to ring Ashley and I can only be unbelievably grateful for the gracious way he accepted the decision."

Phil Jones is an injury doubt having hurt his shoulder in the 3-1 defeat of Hull City last week. Should the United defender not recover in time, Everton's John Stones, who is one of six players on standby, will go in his place.

England squad

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Manchester City), Ben Foster (West Bromwich Albion), Fraser Forster (Celtic)

Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Luke Shaw (Southampton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Phil Jones (Manchester United)

Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Everton), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Adam Lallana (Southampton), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), James Milner (Manchester City), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal);

Forwards: Rickie Lambert (Southampton), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United)

Stand-by players: John Ruddy (Norwich City), Jon Flanagan (Liverpool), John Stones (Everton), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Andy Carroll (West Ham United), Jermain Defoe (Toronto FC). 

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Key Points

  • Twenty-two players called up to England's World Cup squad are from Barclays Premier League
  • Liverpool provide the most with five players, while Manchester United have four
  • Phil Jones will be replaced by Everton's John Stones if he fails to recover from shoulder injury in time