Southgate: England not something to give away lightly

Southgate: England not something to give away lightly

Southgate: England not something to give away lightly

"We've got a few injuries in the midfield in particular - Dele [Alli], Jesse [Lingard] and Ruben [Loftus-Cheek] have been missing - and Fabian Delph, so there is an opportunity there".

"We think there are some exciting young players we have been tracking, and it's a great opportunity for us to look at them". "It's a good time in their development to train with us and see how they adapt".

When asked about the inclusion of the young trio of Mount, Sancho and Maddison, Southgate said: I think it's aligned to what we have done in the last 18 months really.

"[Sancho and Mount] are both in their formative stages but we think they can play in the group".

The 18-year-old Sancho was called up having already played in the Champions League for German club Dortmund, with Mount rewarded for some strong displays at English second-tier club Derby after joining on loan from Premier League giants Chelsea. "This contract extension is the result of his powerful performances", Dortmund's sporting director Michael Zorc told the club's official homepage. He was voted the player of the tournament at the European Under-17 Championship past year and also helped England win the Under-17 FIFA World Cup in India.

Southgate joked that assistant Steve Holland, who has also signed on until 2022, had been watching Sancho disguised in "a flat cap and glasses" in Germany, where the teenager's displays were enough for a call-up regardless of the current injury issues.

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The winger's promotion to the senior setup comes after a sparkling beginning to the new season for Dortmund that has included two Champions League starts.

The 21-year-old has scored three goals and picked up two assists in only seven appearances for Claude Puel's side, impressive form that has caught the eye of the England boss. The selection of Sancho and Mount, as well as set-piece specialist Maddison, is Southgate's way of confronting that problem.

Derby midfielder Mount, 19, was watched by Southgate during their Championship match against Blackburn after impressing on loan from Chelsea.

England lost to Spain 2-1 in its first match in the newly formed Nations League.

However, Southgate recalled the time nine years ago when former FA chairman Greg Dyke installed a countdown clock to 2022 in a left-field bid to inspire England to win the tournament. If he sees out his deal, he will be longest-serving England coach since Bobby Robson (1982-90).

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