Gareth Southgate has added Chelsea’s Cole Palmer, Manchester City’s Rico Lewis and Aston Villa’s Ezri Konsa to his England squad for the November international break.
The reshuffle comes as Southgate’s initial squad was hit with a series of injuries. James Maddison, Lewis Dunk and Callum Wilson have all been forced to withdraw and there could be a handful of other changes in the coming days.
In their places are Palmer, Lewis and Konsa, all of whom are in line to make their debuts for their country in the upcoming Euro 2024 qualification fixtures against Malta and North Macedonia.
Palmer’s call-up comes less than 24 hours after he played a starring role in Chelsea’s enthralling 4-4 draw with Manchester City, in which he scored a stoppage-time equaliser to take his return to four goals and four assists in 11 games for the Blues this season.
18-year-old Lewis, a right-back who has often played in midfield for City, has managed ten appearances this season for Pep Guardiola, who recently claimed the teenager would be one of the best players in the Premier League if he was slightly taller.
Lewis will be joined in defence by Konsa, who has played every minute for Aston Villa this season as Unai Emery’s side surged to fifth in the league standings.
England have confirmed that further tests will be conducted on a handful of other players, most of whom will join up with the Three Lions on Monday.
Midfielder Jude Bellingham is expected to report for duty this week but will undergo checks on a shoulder injury he suffered with Real Madrid. Reports suggest he will be released and return to his club soon.
Levi Colwill missed Chelsea‘s thriller through injury, while Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka has also been nursing a knock but did manage 81 minutes of the weekend’s victory over Burnley.
England sit top of their qualification group and have already booked their place at Euro 2024, and they need just one point from their next two games to cement their place as winners of Group C.