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Evergreen Jermain Defoe gains England recall after 4-year exile

There was also a surprise return for West Bromwich Albion midfielder Jake Livermore, who won his sole cap in 2012.

Sunderland's Jermain Defoe (file photo).
Sunderland's Jermain Defoe (file photo).

VETERAN SUNDERLAND STRIKER Jermain Defoe earned a first England call-up in four years on Thursday for the forthcoming friendly against Germany and World Cup qualifier against Lithuania.

Defoe, 34, has been drafted in after captain Wayne Rooney, Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane and Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge were ruled out by injury. He won his last cap in November 2013.

England manager Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad included first call-ups for Southampton pair Nathan Redmond and James Ward-Prowse, both of whom played under him at U21 level.

There was also a surprise return for West Bromwich Albion midfielder Jake Livermore, who won his sole England cap in 2012.

Manchester United trio Phil Jones, Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford earned recalls, but there was no place in the squad for Arsenal forward Theo Walcott.

England tackle Germany in Dortmund on Wednesday in Southgate’s first game since he was appointed manager on a permanent basis.

He had previously taken charge of four games as a caretaker manager following the dismissal of Sam Allardyce, who was brought down by a newspaper sting.

England then host Lithuania at Wembley on 26 March as they look to cement their place at the top of UEFA World Cup qualifying Group F.

England squad announced on Thursday for a friendly against Germany in Dortmund on 22 March and a World Cup qualifier against Lithuania in London on 26 March:

Goalkeepers: Fraser Forster (Southampton), Joe Hart (Torino/ITA, on loan from Manchester City), Tom Heaton (Burnley)

Defenders: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Michael Keane (Burnley), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur)

Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Michail Antonio (West Ham United), Ross Barkley (Everton), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Jake Livermore (West Bromwich Albion), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Nathan Redmond (Southampton), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)

Forwards: Jermain Defoe (Sunderland), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City).

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