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16th Mar 2017

Jermain Defoe is recalled to the England squad, aged 34

In from the cold

Simon Lloyd

England managers of the past have at times been accused of picking players on the basis of their reputation instead of form.

Fair play then to Gareth Southgate, who has used a bit of common sense by selecting Jermain Defoe for the latest England squad.

The 34-year-old, who was so far away from the England squad last summer that he was featuring in SoccerAid, has managed 14 goals this season in the Premier League, a total only bettered by one other Englishman, the injured Harry Kane.

Impressively, we should also point out that Defoe’s goals have been scored in a struggling Sunderland side.

England will play Germany in a friendly in Dortmund before hosting Lithuania at Wembley for a World Cup Qualifier.

Southgate has also selected Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford as one of the attacking players in his squad, joined also by Leicester’s Jamie Vardy.

Interestingly, Southgate has also included Luke Shaw in his squad, despite hardly featuring for his club in recent weeks.

There are also call ups Nathan Redmond and James Ward-Prowse after their impressive form for Southampton, with Jake Livermore also named in a senior England squad for the first time since 2012.