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England Squad – IN – Ex-Drug Shame Ace Livermore, Defoe Aged 34, Luke Shaw – Rooney, Walcott And Wilshere AXED

Gareth Southgate has now axed Man Utd legend Wayne Rooney from the Three Lions squad and also snatched the skipper’s armband from him.

The new England boss also shocked Theo Walcott on his 28th birthday yesterday after dropping him from the England squad for their upcoming games against Germany and Lithuania.

England’s boss said: “The captain is the person that is captain in the next game, isn’t it?”

“The key for me is how we develop more leaders.”

“I don’t think that he expects, if he is not playing every week for his club, to be picked. Wayne is very mature in this sort of discussion.”

The English manager also dropped the axe on Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck but Manchester United prodigy Marcus Rashford and Leicester City hero Jamie Vardy has been handed a recall.

Despite Rooney being dropped from the squad, the United skipper has been invited on Monday’s team meeting at St George’s Park.

Southgate said: “We’re going to have a meeting with all of the players about what we feel the next 18 months will look like. He’ll be part of that.”

On Walcott’s axing, Southgate added: “Theo wasn’t chuffed to get the call. The timing, on his birthday, wasn’t great.”

Jeramian Defoe and Jake Livermore have now been handed a recall for England’s matches against Germany and Lithuania.

And Southgate accentuated that Livermore was called back as they needed to fill in the absence of Jordan Henderson and Danny Drinkwater.

The Three Lions boss said: “He’s adapted well at West Brom.

“Positionally need the defensive midfield type without Henderson and Drinkwater.”

“It is a great reward for him for the last year battling back from personal difficulties.”

Meanwhile Defoe has earned a first call-up since 2013 after a resurgence in his form for struggling Sunderland.

Defoe, 34, now has 29 goals to his name in the last two seasons despite standing at the fag end of his career.

Southgate said: “This is down to his strike-rate. It is outstanding. I did not want to just look at his age and say he is finished for England.”

“You get younger players with a point to prove and older players with a point to prove. He warrants the call up. I want to create competition for places. We are missing a few with injury as well.”

Luke shaw has also sealed a place in the Three Lions squad despite not being a regular figure at Manchester United this season.

Southgate added: “We have generally tried to pick players playing for their squad.”

“Luke is the exception to the rule but we have a lot of belief in him.”

“He’s going to be a big player in the future and it will be a confidence boost for him.”

Rising talents Nathan Redmond and James Ward-Prowse now have a chance to prove their mettle alongside Man Utd prodigy Marcus Rashford.

Southgate said: “They have earned their opportunity. Their performances for the Under-21s have been outstanding.”

“We know their character and to hold them back just because of that is not fair.  They have both played well in a high-profile Wembley final.”

“My ideal thing would have been Marcus with the Under-21s but we have lost Harry and Sturridge as number nines.”

John Stones have failed to impress after a series of horror performances following his move to Manchester City last summer – including a sloppy performance in City’s second-leg Champions League defeat against AS Monaco.

However, this has not cost Stones a place in the England squad under Southgate.

And Southgate stated the fact that only one English team advanced into the quarter-finals of the Champions League is a loss to the national team.

He explained: “He is part of a defensive unit which had a difficult night. He used the ball well. He is a 22-year-old who will only get better. They are the sorts of nights we need our players involved in.”

“Unfortunately we only have one English team left. We are judging John on a harsh spotlight.”

“It’s good for our game and good for our players. You look at other countries they are getting those experiences and you want players involved in those matches.”

“At the moment this is a shortfall for us but it is not under my control.”


Goalkeepers: Fraser Forster (Southampton), Joe Hart (Torino, on loan from Man City), Tom Heaton (Burnley).

Defenders: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool), Phil Jones (Man Utd), Michael Keane (Burnley), Luke Shaw (Man Utd), Chris Smalling (Man Utd), John Stones (Man City), Kyle Walker (Tottenham).

Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham), Michail Antonio (West Ham), Ross Barkley (Everton), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Man Utd), Jake Livermore (West Brom), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Nathan Redmond (Southampton), Raheem Sterling (Man City), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton).

Strikers: Jermain Defoe (Sunderland), Marcus Rashford (Man Utd), Jamie Vardy (Leicester).

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