Ben Chilwell earns major World Cup boost and joins Raheem Sterling in England squad as Chelsea aces miss out
Gareth Southgate has named four Chelsea stars in his England squad, despite the Blues’ sluggish start to the season.
Mason Mount, Reece James, Raheem Sterling, and notably Ben Chilwell, have all be included for fixtures against Italy and Germany in the final group to be named before the World Cup squad is announced later this year.
Southgate watched on at Stamford Bridge as the Blues drew with Red Bull Salzburg but did see Raheem Sterling put in an impressive performance and net his fourth goal of the season.
The Three Lions boss also got to see James and Mount be heavily involved in build-up to the goal, with the latter taking on a new role for Chelsea under Graham Potter in a deeper midfield position.
The England boss was unable to watch Chilwell, who makes his return to the national team following the injury that kept him out for a significant portion of last season.
The former Leicester defender has had Southgate’s faith placed in him despite making just two starts so far this season, but showed his ability going forward in his cameo against West Ham as he provided a goal and an assist.
Southgate appears to have went his previous comments on picking players on form within his selection. He said:
“Clearly, we have a number of players including Ben Chilwell, Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire and Kalvin Phillips who aren’t playing a lot of minutes. It’s not ideal but we feel they have been, and can be, important players for us.”
Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Conor Gallagher came off the bench to feature in Chelsea’s draw with Southgate in the stands but were unable to tilt the balance in their favour.
Former Crystal Palace loanee Gallagher has managed four England outings in the last 12 months, but has missed out on his first squad since returning to Chelsea.
The 22-year-old has struggled to find his feet so far this term and has been shown a red card in the opening set of Premier League fixtures.
It is perhaps Loftus-Cheek who has had the more impressive season, however. The 26-year-old may not have started Potter’s first match in charge but was one of Chelsea’s more consistent performers under Thomas Tuchel and started five Premier League matches in a row before his departure.
However, the midfielder has not featured in an England squad since 2018. Trevoh Chalobah is yet to be selected for England but given Southgate’s dilemmas in the England backline may have fancied his chances had he been able to have a sustained run in Chelsea’s side this term.
The youngster has featured just once, completing 90 minutes in Chelsea’s win over Leicester City.