Cole Palmer heads trio of uncapped call-ups as Gareth Southgate brings in England reinforcements

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Cole Palmer has been called up for the England squad ahead of their Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia.

Gareth Southgate has made the decision to call up an uncapped trio of starlets for the pair of fixtures, after the withdrawals through injury of Newcastle striker Callum Wilson, Tottenham midfielder James Maddison and Brighton centre-back Lewis Dunk.

Chelsea’s attacking midfielder has been making waves since signing from Manchester City in the summer for £42.5m and had his most visible impact of the campaign against his former side on Sunday, scoring a last-minute equaliser from the penalty spot in an eventual 4-4 draw.

And Palmer is now brought into the seniors for the first time, following five goals in 15 caps for the under-21s.

Joining Palmer in the squad to bolster Southgate’s selection possibilities are Rico Lewis and Ezri Konsa.

While Lewis has been a versatile performer for Man City, he has habitually performed in midfield for the U21s, while Konsa is enjoyed a fantastic start to the campaign at centre-back for Aston Villa.

It means the reshuffled Three Lions squad now contains 11 players out of 25 who have earned ten caps or fewer, with eight of those having five or fewer.

One more point is needed to secure top spot in Group C, though Southgate will be looking for both performances and results as England gear up for Euro 2024 next summer.

England squad for Malta and North Macedonia fixtures

Goalkeepers: Sam Johnstone (Crystal Palace), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal).

Defenders: Levi Colwill (Chelsea), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Fikayi Tomori (AC Milan), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ezri Konsa (Aston Villa)

Midfielders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Al-Ettifaq), Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City), Declan Rice (Arsenal), Cole Palmer (Chelsea), Rico Lewis (Manchester City)

Forwards: Jarrod Bowen (West Ham), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Bayern Munich), James Maddison (Tottenham), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa).

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