Opportunity knocks for Harry Maguire as Southgate looks towards future

England squad CONFIRMED Harry Maguire and Nathaniel Chalobah handed first call-ups for matches against Malta and Slovakia

Harry Maguire Nathaniel Chalobah and Jordan Pickford have all been called up to the England squad

Leicester City defender Harry Maguire was among three uncapped players named in the England squad for next month's World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia.

Rooney had been asked to join up with the squad but instead made a decision to call time on his global career at the age of 31.

Thanks for the memories, Wayne.

Chalobah moved from Chelsea to Watford in July, while Maguire joined Leicester from Hull City in a £17m deal in June.

Jermain Defoe , 34, is also included in the squad, which comes a day after all-time leading scorer Wayne Rooney retired from global football, as is Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

The pair are named in a 28-man squad for the away game at Malta on September 1 and the home fixture against Slovakia at Wembley three days later.

Southgate's troops are top of Qualifying Group F with 14 points from four wins and two draws.

England couldn't slip up, could they?

"I called him, but he said he had been thinking long and hard about his decision and he announced his worldwide retirement", said Southgate.

"I called him, but he said he had been thinking long and hard about his decision and he announced his worldwide retirement", said Southgate.

"He is very comfortable with the ball, the profile of an worldwide footballer".

"I think he's impressed everybody with his ability, of course, but also his character and we're all delighted for him at the football club and he can be really pleased with his overall performance since he's been here".

And the Three Lions boss insists he has full respect for England's all-time record goalscorer, who played 119 games for his country.

'For him personally, I am very, very pleased.

"He has served his country brilliantly and I congratulate him on a fantastic worldwide career".

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