Cahill and Loftus-Cheek selected

Gary Cahill and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have been named in the England World Cup squad for this summer’s finals in Russia.

Manager Gareth Southgate named a 23-man squad earlier today ahead of the tournament, which begins on Thursday 14 June, with the Chelsea duo selected.

For Cahill, the tournament will be the third major competition he has represented England at having featured at Euro 2016 and the World Cup in Brazil four years ago. He was also named in the squad for Euro 2012 but missed the competition due to injury.

The 32-year-old, who has 58 caps to his name, brings a wealth of big-game experience to the squad and Cahill will hope to finish the season at club level on a high by lifting the FA Cup on Saturday.

Loftus-Cheek’s inclusion ensures the 22-year-old will be involved at a major tournament for the first time, having only made his England debut last November in a friendly against Germany.

The midfielder has represented his country right through the younger age groups and he played a pivotal role as England Under-21s won the Toulon Tournament in 2016, scoring the decisive goal in the final, a 2-1 win over France, as well as being named Player of the Tournament.

Loftus-Cheek has been rewarded for an impressive season on loan at Crystal Palace, where he established himself as an important member of the side, starting matches on a regular basis and catching the eye with his outstanding technical qualities.

England have been drawn in Group G and play matches against Tunisia on 18 June, Panama on 24 June and Belgium on 28 June.

Squad in full: 

Goalkeepers: Butland, Pickford, Pope

Defenders: Walker, Trippier, Alexander-Arnold, Stones, Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Young, Rose

Midfielders: Dier, Delph, Henderson, Loftus-Cheek, Lingard, Alli, Sterling

Forwards: Kane, Rashford, Vardy, Welbeck

Standby: Heaton, Tarkowski, Cook, Livermore and Lallana.