James Maddison makes England's World Cup squad

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — James Maddison was a surprising inclusion for England when coach Gareth Southgate named his 26-man squad for the World Cup on Thursday.

The Leicester playmaker has made only one appearance for his country, coming on as a substitute in a European Championship qualifier against Montenegro in 2019. But he has been rewarded for his good form for Leicester this season, scoring six goals and providing four assists.

Southgate also included Kyle Walker, despite the Manchester City defender undergoing an operation on his groin last month, while clubmate Kalvin Phillips has also been picked following shoulder surgery in September.

Phillips played for the first time since that operation when coming on as a substitute in City's League Cup game against Chelsea on Wednesday.

Southgate also picked Arsenal defender Ben White in the absence of injured Chelsea right back Reece James, while Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford has also been recalled after being dropped by England last season.

Newcastle striker Callum Wilson has also been included, along with Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher.

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England:

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

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Conor Coady (Everton), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ben White (Arsenal)

Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City), Declan Rice (West Ham)

Forwards: Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham), James Maddison (Leicester), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Chelsea), Callum Wilson (Newcastle)

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AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson

James Robson, The Associated Press