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FootballEngland squad: Branthwaite and Gordon included but Phillips left out

England squad: Branthwaite and Gordon included but Phillips left out

Jarrad Branthwaite and Anthony Gordon today received maiden call-ups to the England squad but there was no place for Kalvin Phillips or Ben White.

Branthwaite has impressed at the heart of Everton’s defence with the Toffees boasting one of the meanest defences in the Premier League despite the club’s fight against relegation.

England boss Gareth Southgate said: “He’s played consistently well.

“We watched him as a back-up centre-half for the under-21s. If you said a year ago he would consistently play in the Premier League, I would have been surprised.

“Credit to [Everton manager] Sean Dyche. He’s in on merit. We’re looking forward to having a look at him.”

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Newcastle United winger Gordon benefits from the absence of the injured Jack Grealish and will fight it out with Marcus Rashford and Phil Foden for a place on the left side of England’s three-man attack.

Arsenal defender White has asked not to be considered while Phillips has endured a miserable season, initially at Manchester City with his fortunes not improving following a January loan move to West Ham.

Southgate added: “I think he [Phillips] knows exactly what we think of him, a good version of him is an important player for us. We don’t have many players of that profile.

“Unfortunately, his form just hasn’t been good enough. I’ve spoken to him, he knows that. I said to him towards the end of last year, if he didn’t play at City, it was going to be a problem.”

Brentford striker Ivan Toney is recalled after serving an eight-month ban for breaching betting guidelines while there are also places for Chelsea’s Cole Palmer and Aston Villa centre-half Ezri Konsa.

On Palmer, Southgate said: “You can see and have always been able to see the quality he has.

“You could see last year how outstanding a technical finisher he was.

“He’s shown great composure in some real pressure moments for his club. He’s adaptable – he can play two or three positions.

“He’s had an outstanding season and, again, is in on merit as everyone else is.”

It is the final squad Southgate will select before he has to pick 23 players to represent England at the European Championship in Germany this summer.

The Three Lions’ build-up sees them take on Brazil on March 23 and Belgium three days later with both games staged at Wembley.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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