By G9ija

Leicester City’s James Maddison and Arsenal’s Ben White have both been included in England’s 26-man World Cup squad.

Manager Gareth Southgate announced his team for the 2022 tournament in Qatar on Thursday afternoon.

And Maddison has earned a call-up following his stellar season for Leicester so far.

The playmaker has come up with six goals and four assists in 12 top-flight outings for the Foxes this term and will now aim to build on the one cap he currently holds for England this summer.

Meanwhile, Arsenal defender White has also been included after nailing down the right-back spot for the Premier League leaders, with Reece James missing out through injury.

There are no surprises in England’s goalkeeping ranks, with Jordan Pickford entering another major tournament as England’s number one with Aaron Ramsdale and Nick Pope as backup.

Dean Henderson was involved in September’s fixtures due to Pickford’s injury, but the Manchester United man drops out, and there is also a place in the squad for Kyle Walker.

The Manchester City right-back has overcome groin surgery in time to earn a call-up to Southgate’s squad, where he will compete with White, Kieran Trippier and Trent Alexander-Arnold for starts on the right.

Harry Maguire, as expected, is included despite his struggles for Man United, while John Stones, Eric Dier and Conor Coady make up the rest of Southgate’s options in the heart of defence.

Luke Shaw represents England’s only out-and-out left-back given Ben Chilwell’s injury, while Tyrick Mitchell, Marc Guehi, Tyrone Mings and Fikayo Tomori have all failed to make the cut.

As well as Walker, another Man City representative who has successfully overcome surgery to earn a plane ticket is Kalvin Phillips, who will aim to form his partnership with Declan Rice from Euro 2020.

However, Jude Bellingham will hope to cement himself as a regular starter for his country in Qatar, while Jordan Henderson and Conor Gallagher are also options in the midfield for the Three Lions.

Mason Mount is also in alongside Maddison, but James Ward-Prowse has been left at home, and Callum Wilson has won the battle of the backup strikers to act as Harry Kane’s deputy.

Neither Tammy Abraham nor Ivan Toney have earned places in Southgate’s squad for the World Cup, but Marcus Rashford has forced his way back in after reigniting his Man United career.

Raheem Sterling, Bukayo Saka, Jack Grealish and Phil Foden unsurprisingly represent the wide options in Southgate’s ranks, with Jadon Sancho and Jarrod Bowen both being left at home.

All in all, as many as 13 players in Southgate’s squad will be competing at their first World Cup, and the 2022 edition marks a first-ever major international tournament for Wilson, Gallagher and Maddison.

Sterling and Henderson, meanwhile, will be competing at their third World Cup for England, who will be taking on Iran, Wales and the USA in Group B, kicking off against the former on November 21.

ENGLAND 2022 WORLD CUP SQUAD IN FULL:
Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Newcastle United), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal).

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Conor Coady (Everton, loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ben White (Arsenal).

Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City), Declan Rice (West Ham United).

Forwards: Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), James Maddison (Leicester City), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Chelsea), Callum Wilson (Newcastle United).