Ben Chilwell replaces Reece James in England squad for World Cup qualifiers


Chelsea v Southampton - Premier League

Chilwell came back into the fold for Chelsea against Southampton (Picture: Getty Images)

Ben Chilwell has replaced injured Chelsea team-mate Reece James in the England squad for the October international break.

The left-back was part of Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad for Euro 2020, but was one of the few not to have played a single minute as the Three Lions reached the final at Wembley.

Chilwell wasn’t originally selected for World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Hungary coming up in October, but he is now in.

The 24-year-old will take the place of right-back James, who is nursing an ankle injury which has kept him out of Chelsea’s last two games.

Chilwell, who has 14 England caps, will compete with Luke Shaw at left-back, while Kyle Walker and Kieran Tripper are Southgate’s options on the other flank.

The defender’s inclusion follows the news that ex-Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham has also been called up for the Three Lions.

The Blues academy graduate has been in inspired form for Jose Mourinho’s side, scoring four goals in nine games for the Serie A club.

England squad

Goalkeepers: Sam Johnstone, Jordan Pickford, Aaron Ramsdale

Defenders: Conor Coady, Ben Chilwell, Tyrone Mings, Luke Shaw, John Stones, Fikayo Tomori, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker

Midfielders: Phil Foden, Jordan Henderson, Jesse Lingard, Mason Mount, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice

Forwards: Jack Grealish, Harry Kane, Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling, Ollie Watkins, Tammy Abraham

Discussing James’ absence before Chelsea’s clash against Southampton last week, Blues boss Thomas Tuchel relayed his confusion over the defender’s inclusion in the England squad.

‘I thought maybe Reece was called up to the England water polo team because he trains in the pool,’ said Tuchel.

‘I was a bit surprised, but I understand he was selected.

‘This will not happen, because he’s training in the pool.

‘It can only be a misunderstanding.’

MORE : Kalvin Phillips sends stern message to England doubters: ‘People want us to lose and we will prove them all wrong’

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