Gareth Southgate has called up Harry Winks for the first time after losing Fabian Delph and Phil Jones to injury for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Slovenia and Lithuania.
The Tottenham midfielder, who has made only one Premier League start this season, will take part in his first training session with the senior squad on Tuesday at St George’s Park, stepping up from Aidy Boothroyd’s Under-21 squad after only one cap.
Winks has made seven club appearances this season and began two of Tottenham’s last three games in all competitions – the recent victories over Apoel Nicosia and Huddersfield Town – having recovered from ankle ligament damage sustained in April.
The 21-year-old was described last week as “the perfect midfielder” by his club manager, Mauricio Pochettino. In effect he replaces Manchester City’s Delph, who has actually been excelling at left-back in recent matches. Delph has withdrawn from Southgate’s squad with a muscle strain.
Jones returns to Manchester United for treatment on his own complaint, though like Delph he had been able to complete a full 90 minutes in the Premier League this weekend.
Their departures leave Southgate with 24 players from which to choose against Slovenia, when a win will secure qualification for the World Cup, with Dele Alli suspended for Thursday’s game at Wembley.
The Football Association has confirmed the qualifier against Slovenia will go ahead irrespective of a tube strike planned for that day.
Members of Aslef have announced plans for a 24-hour walkout on the London Underground, starting at midnight on Thursday, with the FA having organised shuttle buses from central London. They have also indicated they any supporters unable to attend the game as a result will be automatically refunded within 28 days.