Wayne Rooney has been left out of the England squad that will face Scotland in a 2018 World Cup qualifier and France in an international friendly next month, putting the captain’s future with the national team into serious doubt.
Less than 24 hours after lifting the Europa League trophy with Manchester United, Rooney has been dropped from the England squad for the first time since making his debut in 2003, having amassed a record 53 goals in 119 appearances, second only to Peter Shilton’s haul of 125 caps.
The 31-year-old has made just 15 starts for United in the Premier League this season, and has scored eight goals in all competitions this season, his lowest haul since joining United from Everton in 2004.
His lack of form and regular playing time appears to have swayed manager Gareth Southgate into dropping the striker, and with vice-captain Jordan Henderson also absent through injury, Chelsea defender Gary Cahill will likely lead the Three Lions in their matches at Hampden Park and the Stade de France.
“The Scotland game is one of football’s great fixtures,” Southgate said.
“We’re in a place in the group where a win can really put us in a very strong position, and that’s what we want to achieve.
“France is a great challenge for us. Our ambition with our friendly matches is to play the best possible teams – we’ve done that by playing Spain and Germany already. They’re teams we want to test ourselves against and these are great opportunities to learn and improve.
“A game away in the Stade de France will be a brilliant occasion for the players.”
England squad to face Scotland and France
Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Joe Hart (Manchester City), Tom Heaton (Burnley)
Defenders: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool), Aaron Cresswell (West Ham United), Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur)
Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Jake Livermore (West Bromwich Albion), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
Strikers: Jermain Defoe (Sunderland), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City).
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