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Major England blow: Reece James told he is not going to the World Cup

England have been dealt a major blow heading into the Qatar World Cup.


Reece James has been told by manager Gareth Southgate that he will not be part of England’s World Cup squad.

James was called by Southgate on Tuesday to be informed he is going to be left out of the 26-man squad, which is being officially announced on Thursday afternoon.

The former Middlesbrough man does not want to risk taking the 22-year-old as he is still recovering from a knee injury sustained for Chelsea against AC Milan last month.

There was some speculation that James could be fit in time to feature in the knockout rounds, similar to what Harry Maguire did at Euro 2020.

However, that is seemingly not the case and England now have a major hole in their squad.

Gareth Southgate prefers to use a three-back formation, especially in major tournaments.

But given the lack of pace in Harry Maguire and John Stones, Southgate usually starts Kyle Walker in the right-centre-back role to add some much-needed pace.

Walker, though, is out with an injury of his own, meaning England have no full-backs that can do a job in a back-three.

This means Southgate will either have to change to a back-four, or use someone like Ben White at RCB and risk his side’s lack of pace being exposed.

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