Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings and Ollie Watkins were called up to the England national team when manager Gareth Southgate announced his latest squad on Thursday afternoon.
The duo joins the 23-man team that will face Andorra and Hungary in World Cup Qualifiers next month.
Mings was included in Southgate’s team that played three qualifying matches earlier this month. The 28-year-old started and played the full 90 minutes in the 4-0 victory over Andorra at Wembley Stadium on September 5.
Watkins returns to the England set-up having narrowly missed out on being named to the Euro 2020 squad in June. The forward has made three appearances for England and tallied his only goal for country in a 5-0 win over San Marino on March 25, 2021.
"“He would have been in the last squad but for injury. He was very close to making the Euros squad. I loved his mentality.”"
Leeds’ Patrick Bamford received a call-up for England’s September matches because Watkins was not yet at full fitness. Watkins no returns to the squad as Bamford misses due to injury.
Villa supporters took to Twitter voicing their displeasure with Southgate’s decision not to call Ezri Konsa into the squad. The central defender has sparkled with Villa so far this season, having most recently played a role in shutting down Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford last weekend.
AC Milan’s Fikayo Tomori earned his first call-up since 2019 and has seemingly kept Konsa out of the squad. Southgate typically favors central defenders strong on the ball and potentially has reservations concerning Konsa’s ability with the ball at his feet.
Manchester United’s Harry Maguire misses out due to injury, suggesting Mings is the likely candidate to start at least two of the three matches scheduled this window.
Watkins will certainly feature in some capacity. He and Tottenham’s Harry Kane are the only two recognized central forwards in the squad.