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Three ‘Nigerian’ players called up by England for Nations League, Rashford dropped

THREE players with Nigerian heritage have been included in the England squad announced today for the 2022 UEFA Nations League.

England manager Gareth Southgate called up Bukayo Saka, Fikayo Tomori and Tammy Abraham among the 27 players for the tournament billed for June.

Saka and Abraham were born in England while Tomori was born in Canada. All three were born to Nigerian parents and all three grew up in England.

Arsenal forward Saka is already an established England international at only 20, playing 14 times for the Three Lions, including four appearances at the European Championship last year, when England reached the final.

Tomori, a centre-back, has only two England caps since his debut in 2019 but he has been reconsidered following his stellar performances in AC Milan’s run to the Serie A title this season.

Roma striker Abraham, who was seriously courted by Nigeria, also lost his place in the England team but his recent resurgence in Italy has earned him a recall and an opportunity to add to his 10 caps and three goals.

Southgate also included the regular faces in his squad, with Manchester United’s Harry Maguire, Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold, Manchester City’s Kyle Walker, Everton’s Jordan Pickford and Chelsea’s Mason Mount all invited.

However, Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford is not in the squad apparently due to his dip in form in recent months.

The Three Lions will face Hungary (twice), Germany and Italy across 10 days in their League A group in June.

England will start their campaign with a trip to face Hungary at the Puskas Arena on Saturday, 4 June.

They will then proceed to Munich where they will take on Germany three days later at the Allianz Arena.

The Three Lions will welcome Italy to Molineux on Saturday, 11 June, before June’s games are rounded off when they host Hungary at the same venue on Tuesday, 14 June.

The squad

Goalkeepers:
Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)

Defenders:
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Conor Coady (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Marc Guéhi (Crystal Palace), Reece James (Chelsea), James Justin (Leicester City) Harry Maguire (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ben White (Arsenal)

Midfielders:
Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Conor Gallagher (Crystal Palace, loan from Chelsea), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United), Declan Rice (West Ham United), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)

Forwards:
Tammy Abraham (AS Roma), Jarrod Bowen (West Ham United), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

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