Tottenham star Kieran Trippier earned an England call-up
At 34, Jermain Defoe retains his place despite the return of Harry Kane from injury, underlining the fact that age genuinely is no barrier for the England manager.
That in turn is a major bonus for Tottenham full-back Trippier, who at the age of 26 is a late developer onto the international stage.
But Southgate said he could not overlook the fact that the former Burnley star has been turning in a string of impressive performances for Tottenham in the closing stages of the season.
“He’s a player that I’ve watched a lot, from when he was at Burnley,” said Southgate. “He has had limited game time at Spurs but he fits the profile of a full-back that we like – he’s very good with the ball and I like his mentality.
“He’s a player we wanted to bring in so he gets a feel for how we work, and it’s a good opportunity for us to look at him.
“He and Kyle Walker will have been pushing each other every day and, in my opinion, they along with Nathaniel Clyne are the three best right-backs in the country.”
Tottenham fans panic after Kyle Walker Instagram post Thu, May 25, 2017
Kyle Walker has worried Tottenham fans after posting an elaborate Instagram message…
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Kyle Walker posted nine messages to say 'Thank You' and Spurs fans are worried
He’s very good with the ball and I like his mentality
England boss Gareth Southgate
Pochettino recently made a series of surprise selection calls which shows the trust he has in Bury-born Trippier.
Having sat behind Walker for most of the season, he was picked for the FA Cup semi-final, the north London derby and the last ever game at White Hart Lane.
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This new threat to his international place is unlikely to improve the mood of Walker, who has been linked with a move away from Tottenham in light of his apparent fall from favour.
Yesterday, Walker posted an Instagram message with his image super-imposed on a giant “thank you”, further fuelling speculation he could be off in the summer.
Southgate is likely to go with a more experienced side in the cauldron of a June 10 World Cup qualifier against Scotland before experimenting a little bit more in Paris three nights later in the friendly against France.
To that end, Ben Gibson, the uncapped Middlesbrough player who joined the squad late last time is also back in the fold, as is Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland, who has not been part of the squad since injuring himself against Germany over two years ago.
“The Scotland game is one of football’s great fixtures,” said Southgate. “We’re in a place in the group where a win can really put us in a very strong position, and that’s what we want to achieve.
“France is a great challenge for us. They’re teams we want to test ourselves against and these are great opportunities to learn and improve.”