Nigeria’s hopes of luring Arsenal youngster Bukayo Saka to play for the country could eventually be dashed after he was handed his first England senior national team call-up on Thursday.
Saka was included in England manager Gareth Southgate’s 30-man squad, for their Nations League games against Belgium and Denmark and a friendly against Wales during the international break.
The 19-year-old is one of 12 defenders which has the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool, Ainsley Maitland-Niles of Arsenal, Manchester City’s Kyle Walker, called up for the games.
— Bukayo Saka (@BukayoSaka87) October 1, 2020
Saka has featured just three times for Arsenal during this campaign but broke into the first-team and impressed while playing at full-back for the Gunners last season.
Everton’s in-form striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Harvey Barnes of Leicester City have also been handed their first senior England call-ups.
After hitting a career-best 15 goals last term, Calvert-Lewin’s impressive start to the new campaign has propelled Everton to three wins from three in the Premier League.
The 23-year-old is the Premier League’s joint-leading goalscorer with five, and also scored a hat-trick for the Toffees in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup win over West Ham.
Barnes meanwhile has helped Leicester to the top of the early Premier League table, with the 22-year-old scoring in the Foxes’ win over Burnley.
As expected, Southgate has left out Mason Greenwood of Manchester United and Phil Foden of Manchester City after the pair were sent home from Iceland last month for breaching coronavirus protocols by meeting up with two women inside the public areas of the team hotel.
United captain Harry Maguire has been recalled, after he was dropped from the last squad following his convictions for assault and attempted bribery in a Greek court, which he has since appealed with the convictions nullified ahead of a full retrial.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is also named in the squad despite picking up an injury issue in the Reds’ win over Chelsea.
England squad in full
Dean Henderson (Manchester United), Nick Pope (Burnley), Jordan Pickford (Everton).
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Conor Coady (Wolves), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Michael Keane (Everton), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Arsenal), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid), Kyle Walker (Manchester City).
Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United), Declan Rice (West Ham), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton), Harry Winks (Tottenham).
Tammy Abraham (Chelsea), Harvey Barnes (Leicester), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Jack Grealish (Aston Villa), Danny Ings (Southampton), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).