Danny Welbeck, Callum Wilson and Lewis Dunk named in England's 55-man World Cup squad
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Gareth Southgate has named Brighton forward Danny Welbeck in his provisional 55-man World Cup squad, according to reports, while the likes of James Maddison, Callum Wilson and Lewis Dunk have also made the cut.
We are just under three weeks away from England's opening game in Group B against underdogs Iran.
It's fair to say talk about who will – and who will not – make the 26-man squad is well underway but ultimately, the final say belongs to Gareth Southgate, who will select his final squad for Qatar on Thursday 10 November.
The former Middlesbrough boss will have the unenviable task of letting some players know that they haven't made it. So who is in contention?
It was confirmed by The Athletic this week that Brighton pair Danny Welbeck and Lewis Dunk have been named in Southgate's 55-man provisional squad ahead of the World Cup in Qatar.
Welbeck, who has impressed in spells for the Seagulls this season, has yet to find the net in 11 Premier League appearances, but clearly the England boss thinks highly of the Manchester United academy graduate.
In addition to Welbeck and Dunk, a report from The Mail suggests James Maddison, Callum Wilson and Crystal Palace forward Eberechi Eze are also in contention, alongside Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Liverpool defender Joe Gomez and Arsenal's in-form centre-back Ben White are also hoping to be amongst the final 26 with Kyle Walker and Reece James potentially missing out due to injury.
One defender who was tipped to be named in the provisional squad was Roma centre-back Chris Smalling.
Jose Mourinho was insistent that Gareth Southgate should recall Smalling to the England squad ahead of this winter's tournament, highlighting his versatility in a back three.
Speaking after Roma’s 1-0 win over Sampdoria, Mourinho told reporters: “He was taught to play in a two-man defence in Manchester, but now he’s got the perfect acumen to play in a three-man backline.
“If I were the coach of a national team, I would do anything to have someone like him at my disposal.
“I don’t think it’s a lack of respect to Gareth Southgate when I say that I feel very sorry for a player who’s playing at such a high level like Smalling and who won’t get the opportunity he deserves.”
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One of the biggest talking points of this provisional squad will undoubtedly be the inclusion of Brighton forward Danny Welbeck.
That being said, the former Arsenal striker deserves a place in Gareth Southgate's 26-man England squad ahead of this winter's World Cup in Qatar, according to talkSPORT pundit Rory Jennings, who believes the 31-year-old is a "class act".
"Danny Welbeck goes to the World Cup. I genuinely believe it," he said. "His late career bounce is a testament to the brilliance of [Graham] Potter. He is playing so well. I think he deserves a World Cup place."
Jennings added: "Bearing in mind it's a bigger squad, I think that he could do a job. He's a class act."
Thoughts on some of the names included in the provisional 55-man squad? Is there something you think deserves to go to Qatar this winter?
Let us know in the comments.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: Football World Cup, England, Gareth Southgate, James Maddison, Danny Welbeck, Callum Wilson