Jermain Defoe earns England recall, Gareth Southgate names four uncapped players
Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe has been named in Gareth Southgate’s first England squad as permanent manager.
Defoe last featured for England in 2013, but gets the nod for the upcoming matches against Germany and Lithuania after scoring 14 of Sunderland’s 24 Premier League goals so far this season.
"Defoe's goal-scoring record this year speaks for itself. He’s a finisher and is very proud to play for England," Southgate said.
"You can have old players who are hungry as well. Genereally we are looking towards the future, but at this time – with his experience and goal-scoring record – he’s an important part of the squad."
Jermain Defoe last played for England against Chile in 2013Reuters
Marcus Rashford also features following reports he was set to remain part of the U21 setup, while his Manchester United team-mate Luke Shaw has also been called up despite struggling for appearances this season.
Three Arsenal players were also snubbed by Southgate. Theo Walcott, who played in the friendly against Spain back in November, was left out despite an impressive season to date for Arsene Wenger’s side.
Jack Wilshere was also dropped after having lost his place for Bournemouth, on loan from Arsenal, while Danny Welbeck was not welcomed back into the international fold after his recent return from long-term injury.
England first travel to Germany for a friendly on March 22 before hosting Lithuania in a World Cup Qualifier at Wembley four days later.
Full England squad
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)