Hodgson gives England call-ups to Townsend and Barkley
Manager rewards early season form for young midfielders
Everton’s Ross Barkley (left) celebrates scoring against Norwich City with team-mate Seamus Coleman. Photograph: Nigel French/PA Wire.
Tottenham winger Townsend and Everton midfielder Barkley have been in fine form during the opening stages of the Premier League season and Hodgson has responded by handing them their first international call-ups.
England resume their World Cup qualification campaign a week on Friday against Moldova at Wembley before they play Ukraine in Kiev four days later.
Barkley, 19, scored on the opening day of the season for Everton, while 22-year-old Townsend has performed brilliantly for Spurs since he returned from a loan spell at QPR.
Raheem Sterling has been promoted from the under-21 squad even though he has only played 18 minutes for Liverpool so far this season.
When asked about the inclusion of Barkley, Hodgson said: “He impressed me when I worked with him at St George’s and at Sheffield Wednesday, and quite a few other people impressed at that that time – Raheem Sterling and of course Andros Townsend, who was on the radar before the under-21s.
“In choosing these players we are giving ourselves a chance to look at players who are capable of having a bright future.
“I don’t think there is a question that this is a philosophy of we will only play this or that type of player. Players like Barkley, Townsend and Sterling can make a difference and in a team they can be players that make a big impact. They are there on merit. It’s nice that they’re younger.
“I would expect them in the coming years to share roles. I don’t expect them not to play a part in the under-21s. Players need to understand because the door is open at senior level, it doesn’t mean you close the door at under-21 level.”
Striker Rickie Lambert retains his place in the squad after scoring on debut against Scotland earlier this month, while uncapped Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster has been called up to replace the injured West Brom keeper Ben Foster.
Daniel Sturridge returns to the squad after sitting out the game against the Scots, while fellow striker Jermain Defoe retains his place in a 27-man squad despite not starting a game for Spurs this season.
New under-21 manager Gareth Southgate has named Wilfried Zaha and Luke Shaw among his 25-man squad for the Euro 2015 qualifiers against Moldova on September 5th and Finland four days later.
ENGLAND (Squad for World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine) - Goalkeepers: Forster (Celtic), Hart (Man City), Ruddy (Norwich). Defenders: Baines (Everton), Cahill (Chelsea), Cole (Chelsea), Jagielka (Everton), Johnson (Liverpool), Jones (Man Utd), Smalling (Man Utd), Walker (Tottenham). Midfielders: Barkley (Everton), Carrick (Man Utd), Cleverley (Man Utd), Gerrard (Liverpool), Lampard (Chelsea), Milner (Man City), Sterling (Liverpool), Townsend (Tottenham), Walcott (Arsenal), Wilshere (Arsenal). Forwards: Defoe (Tottenham), Lambert (Southampton), Rooney (Man Utd), Sturridge (Liverpool), Welbeck (Liverpool), Young (Man Utd).