Leicester midfielder James Maddison is in Gareth Southgate's England squad
London (AFP) - Leicester City midfielder James Maddison was included Thursday in Gareth Southgate’s squad for their Euro 2020 qualifiers against Montenegro and Kosovo despite his controversial casino visit during the last international break.
England host Montenegro on November 14 and play Kosovo in Pristina three days later.
A point at Wembley against Montenegro in the 1,000th international match for the men’s team would be enough to guarantee qualification.
Maddison pulled out of the squad to face the Czech Republic and Bulgaria last month because of illness but the uncapped 22-year-old was pictured in a casino during the 2-1 defeat in Prague.
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers defended his player while Southgate said Maddison would have learned there was an increased spotlight on him.
“It wasn’t a great decision he took (going to a casino). Now he will realise as an England player there is a different profile,” said Southgate.
“Everyone has a camera phone and has a chance to make some money. We’re supporting him because we’ve picked him. He’s got to come into the squad and fight for his place like anyone else.”
John Stones has returned, replacing the axed Michael Keane, and could make his first England appearance since the Nations League in June.
Southgate is eager to see how the Manchester City defender performs in Sunday’s top-of-the-table clash at Liverpool.
He said: “John’s had a few games back in the team. I’ll be able to answer that question (how impressed Southgate has been) better after Sunday. Matches up to now have been Manchester City dominated.
“There’s still a bit to see and a bit more to test him but it’s good he’s back fit and playing.”
Tottenham’s Dele Alli misses out, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain recalled after missing last month’s squad as he continued to recover from a serious knee injury.
The Liverpool midfielder has scored four goals in his past four games.
Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi, who has two caps, is promoted back from the under-21 squad following his return from the Achilles injury he suffered at the end of last season.
Stamford Bridge teammate Mason Mount is also included despite coming off in Tuesday’s 4-4 Champions League draw against Ajax with an ankle problem.
There was also no place for Aston Villa’s in-form captain Jack Grealish or Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard.
Squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Tom Heaton (Aston Villa), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley)
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez (both Liverpool), Ben Chilwell (Leicester), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Danny Rose (Tottenham), John Stones (Manchester City), Fikayo Tomori (Chelsea), Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid/ESP)
Midfielders: Ross Barkley, Mason Mount (both Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Everton), Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (both Liverpool), James Maddison (Leicester), Declan Rice (West Ham), Harry Winks (Tottenham)
Forwards: Tammy Abraham, Callum Hudson-Odoi (both Chelsea), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund/GER), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Callum Wilson (Bournemouth)