Interim England manager Gareth Southgate raided his Under-21 squad to recall Manchester United duo Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard for the World Cup qualifiers with Malta and Slovenia.
Rashford returns to the senior squad after netting a hat-trick for the Under-21s against Norway last month, while uncapped Lingard, who received his maiden call-up for last November’s friendly with France, is also included.
Stoke full-back Glen Johnson has been handed an international lifeline, having been called up for the first time since the 2014 World Cup. Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also returns.
“There are a couple of players that I’ve worked with in the Under-21s with Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard, who we think are exciting young players who we wanted to put in this squad,” said Southgate.
It is the first England squad announcement since Sam Allardyce lost his job as Three Lions boss for comments made to undercover reporters posing as potential business clients. England host Malta on Saturday before next Tuesday’s clash with Slovenia.