England boss Gareth Southgate has reportedly included Brighton’s Lewis Dunk and Danny Welbeck in his provisional 55-man squad for the World Cup.
Every manager taking a team to this winter’s tournament was asked by FIFA to submit a longlist last month.
Southgate is expected to name his final 26-man squad on November 10, four days before the deadline.
There are bound to be some questionable names in the 55-man squad, and Welbeck is definitely a surprise inclusion.
The former Arsenal and Manchester United forward has 42 England caps but has not played for his country since 2018.
Dunk, on the other hand, only has one cap which came in a 3-0 friendly win against the USA in 2018.
Welbeck has impressed for Brighton since joining as a free agent two years ago.
Although he is not the most clinical striker, his work rate and versatility have been impressive.
Both have impressed this term as Brighton sit eighth in the Premier League table.
Dunk has played the full 90 minutes of all 12 of Brighton’s matches this season, under both Graham Potter and new boss Roberto De Zerbi.
With the 29-year-old captaining the Seagulls, only Newcastle (10), Arsenal and Manchester City (both 11) have conceded fewer goals than De Zerbi’s side.
31-year-old Welbeck has failed to score in 11 Premier League matches this season but has provided three assists.
Speaking on Sunday, former Chelsea player Tony Cascarino waxed lyrical about Dunk, hinting that he should be in Southgate’s World Cup squad.
He told talkSPORT: “Dunk looks so good. Lewis Dunk has been ignored by England when clearly he is a really good centre-half.
“He really can lead brilliantly.
“He is that Dan Burn ilk at Newcastle where you look at them and think they do really well.
“What is wrong with a seven or eight out of ten defender every week? Dunk is that.”
Another player who has been consistent in the Premier League but left out of the England squad is Callum Wilson.
The Athletic also reported that the Newcastle United striker has been included in the 55-man longlist.
In nine league games this season, Wilson has scored six times, including twice against Aston Villa on Saturday with Southgate watching from the stands.
The 30-year-old was handed his England debut by Southgate in 2018 and scored his only goal in four caps on his debut, which came in the same match as Dunk’s lone England appearance.
What a team Southgate put out that day.
Fabian Delph was captain and Dunk partnered Michael Keane in centre-half.
The front three was Wilson, Jesse Lingard and Jadon Sancho, who was 18 years old at the time.
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