Glen back for Lions
Southgate names his first England squad and recalls defender Johnson
Glen Johnson was handed a shock England recall on Sunday night as Gareth Southgate announced his first squad.
Jesse Lingard, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ryan Bertrand were also called up by Southgate, but it was the re-introduction of Johnson that was the major surprise.
The former Liverpool full back has 54 caps, but hasn’t played for England since the World Cup loss to Uruguay in June 2014 and has only played in three Premier League matches this season following a seven-month layoff with injury.
But he has been handed an unexpected return to the international fold for World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovenia with Liverpool right back Nathaniel Clyne unavailable with a knee injury.
Johnson will almost certainly be understudy to Tottenham’s Kyle Walker, who is England’s first choice on the right side of defence.
Lingard has been rewarded for his encouraging start to the season at Manchester United. The 23-year-old was named in England’s squad to face France in a friendly last year, but did not play.
There is also a place for Arsenal forward Oxlade-Chamberlain after injury ruled him out of Euro 2016.
With Manchester United left back Luke Shaw unavailable with a groin problem, Bertrand will compete with Tottenham’s Danny Rose for a starting berth.
As anticipated Marcus Rashford has replaced injured Tottenham striker Harry Kane, while Leicester midfielder Danny Drinkwater is injured so misses out.
There was no place for Everton midfielder Ross Barkley or Bournemouth’s Jack Wilshere. Southgate made a personal check on Barkley against Crystal Palace on Friday night, while assistant Sammy Lee watched Wilshere against Watford on Saturday.
West Ham forward Michail Antonio, who was handed a shock first call-up by Allardyce, keeps his place.
Adam Lallana misses out after suffering a groin injury in Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Swansea and will have a scan today to determine how long he faces on the sidelines amid fears he could miss the vital clash against Manchester United on October 17.
Stoke City’s Glen Johnson in Premier League action on September 24. /REUTERS