England squad to face Ukraine and Scotland includes Jordan Henderson and Harry Maguire

England manager Gareth Southgate has included Jordan Henderson and Harry Maguire in his squad for September’s games against Ukraine and Scotland.

Midfielder Henderson, 33, has been picked after leaving Liverpool to join Saudi Arabian side Al-Ettifaq in July.

Centre-back Maguire makes the squad despite not having played for Manchester United so far this season.

England play Ukraine in a Euro 2024 qualifier on 9 September in Poland, and Scotland in a friendly on 12 September.

The game against Scotland at Hampden Park is to mark the 150th anniversary of that fixture.

Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah and Chelsea centre-back Levi Colwill get their first call-ups to the England squad, while midfielder Kalvin Phillips is also included, even though he has yet to play for Manchester City this season.

Chelsea forward Raheem Sterling is again absent, having been left out of England’s last two squads.

Tyrone Mings, Luke Shaw and John Stones are out injured, while fellow defenders Ben Chilwell and Fikayo Tomori are recalled.

Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has been listed in midfield, having played there for the wins against North Macedonia and Malta in June.

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England squad

Goalkeepers: Sam Johnstone (Crystal Palace), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)

Defenders: Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Levi Colwill (Chelsea), Lewis Dunk (Brighton & Hove Albion), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City)

Midfielders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Al-Ettifaq), Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City), Declan Rice (Arsenal)

Forwards: Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Bayern Munich), James Maddison (Tottenham), Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Callum Wilson (Newcastle United)

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‘Raheem isn’t particularly happy about it’

Sterling is one of England’s most experienced players, having been capped 82 times, but he has not played for the national side since the World Cup quarter-finals in December.

He missed England’s Euro 2024 qualifiers in March with injury and was left out of the summer’s international matches by mutual decision to allow his body to recover.

He has started in Chelsea’s first three Premier League matches, scoring twice and registering an assist in Friday’s 3-0 win over Luton.

Southgate said he did not think any of his attacking players deserved to be left out in place of Sterling.

“Sterling was not available for the last two and of course that’s given other people the opportunity to play well and to establish themselves in the group,” Southgate said.

“It’s a difficult call and Raheem is not particularly happy about it, but I understand that because he’s an important player for us.

“I’m convinced he’s going to have an excellent season with Chelsea.”

‘It is for Henderson to decide when he speaks’

England midfielder Jordan Henderson

Henderson has 77 England caps, spoke to Southgate about his future England prospects before completing his move to the Saudi Pro League.

Henderson has been criticised by some LGBTQ+ campaigners over the transfer, as same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Saudi Arabia. The player has publicly supported the LGBTQ+ community in the past.

“It’s for Jordan to decide when he is going to speak and how he speaks,” Southgate told BBC Radio 5 live.

“I’d be pretty certain that his views on life haven’t changed at all.

“I think he realises that by making the decision he has made it’s going to bring a certain level of scrutiny and criticism.”

Southgate said he was “a bit lost” on how to answer questions about a potential negative fan reaction to Henderson following his move.

“You walk in to try and talk about a squad announcement based on football decisions and increasingly we are navigating such complex political aspects that I’m not really trained to do,” he added.

“There are lots of different ownership models of clubs in England, there are lots of players playing in countries where there are different religious beliefs.

“I don’t really know why a player would receive an adverse reaction because of where he plays football.”

Lack of game time for Maguire & Phillips ‘far from ideal’

Last season, Maguire found his first-team chances limited under Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag and was stripped of the club’s captaincy this summer.

West Ham agreed a £30m fee to sign Maguire earlier in August but the deal collapsed with the defender intent on fighting for his place in the team at Old Trafford.

Southgate has continued to pick the 30-year-old who has played 57 times for England.

Phillips has also had limited playing time since joining City from Leeds in July last year.

“We have lost a lot of experienced players with caps at centre-half,” said Southgate.

“We are giving some less experienced players the opportunity to come into the squad but unfortunately it looks like Tyrone is out for the season, Stones is out for this camp, Eric Dier hasn’t been in the Tottenham squad.

“There is a space there and I think for these two games it is important we have some experience in that place of the pitch.

“It’s not a good situation that those guys aren’t playing football, but in some areas we have depth. In others we don’t.”

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