LONDON: John Stones, Jesse Lingard and Luke Shaw have all been recalled to the England squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold has not been included in the 26-man squad.

Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins and West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone have received their first senior call-ups, while Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham has been named in the squad despite concerns over his availability.

Leeds striker Patrick Bamford had been widely tipped for inclusion, but misses out.

Gareth Southgate has named a 26-man squad for this month’s World Cup qualification triple header against San Marino, Albania and Poland.

The England manager has turned to Watkins, who has impressed since joining Villa from Brentford in the summer, following a string of attacking issues.

Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho misses out through injury, while Jack Grealish, James Maddison and Tammy Abraham are not included having been dealing with issues of their own.

Johnstone, who has shone for the embattled Baggies this season, gets his maiden call-up following an injury to England number one Jordan Pickford.

England play San Marino at home on 25 March, are away in Albania on 28 March and then host Poland on 31 March.

Shaw, Stones and Lingard return after long absences.

Seventeen-year-old Bellingham’s inclusion is interesting given the Football Association had expected regional coronavirus travel restrictions in Germany to rule him out.

Southgate said there had been some “close calls” when selecting his squad, including the decision to include Watkins over Bamford.

“Bamford was very close,” Southgate said at a press conference. “There’re a number of positions in this squad that have been really close calls and we felt we wanted an extra striker.

“We’re really pleased with Harry Kane and Dominic Calvert-Lewin and what they’ve done. Tammy Abraham hasn’t really been involved for Chelsea over the last four to six weeks.

“Both Ollie and Patrick in particular, their goals record has been good. We like the personalities of both. Ollie is a player we’ve had less interaction with in the past. It’s going to be good to get to know him.

“We like his pressing, the speed and the runs in behind. He’s got some improvement to make in linking the game, but in his first season in the Premier League at a big club, he’s done exceptionally well.

“That’s been a really close call because all the things I’ve said about Ollie I could have said for Patrick as well, so he’s very unfortunate.”

England squad

Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson (Manchester United), Sam Johnstone (West Brom), Nick Pope (Burnley)

Defenders: Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Conor Coady (Wolves), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Reece James (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Man Utd), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Luke Shaw (Man Utd), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid), Kyle Walker (Man City)

Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Dortmund), Phil Foden (Man City), Jesse Lingard (West Ham, on loan from Man Utd), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds), Declan Rice (West Ham), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)

Forwards: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Man Utd), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Man City), Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa)