Abraham, Chilwell added to England squad as injured James withdraws


ammy Abraham has been drafted into the England squad following his fine form at AS Roma, while Ben Chilwell is also added for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Hungary.

Chilwell comes in following the withdrawal of Chelsea team-mate Reece James, who will not report to St. George’s Park on Tuesday due to the ankle injury sustained against Manchester City that ruled him out of Saturday’s Premier League win over Southampton.

Many had expected Abraham to feature in the initial squad named last week after quickly getting his previously promising career quickly back on track in the aftermath of a £34million summer switch from Stamford Bridge to Rome.

The 24-year-old has immediately become a key player under ex-Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho at the Stadio Olimpico, scoring four goals and registering three assists in his first 10 appearances across all competitions as well as hitting the woodwork six times.

However, despite Leeds’ Patrick Bamford and Everton frontman Dominic Calvert-Lewin missing out through injury, and Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford not yet back from shoulder surgery, neither Abraham nor Brentford’s Ivan Toney made the cut, though the former’s ex-Chelsea team-mate Fikayo Tomori was called up after also shining in Italy with AC Milan.

Abraham – who made his England debut against the Czech Republic in October 2019 and scored a first goal in the 7-0 thrashing of Montenegro one month later- will now join up with the squad on Tuesday for the first time since November 2020 after featuring for Roma in Sunday’s 2-0 Serie A win over Empoli, in which he was denied by the post once more.

Alongside Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins, he will offer cover and support for captain Harry Kane, with Jack Grealish, Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho and Raheem Sterling also in the squad.

Abraham will hope to add to his existing haul of six senior caps as England travel to face Group I minnows Andorra on Saturday before hosting Hungary at Wembley next Tuesday night.

Southgate’s Three Lions top the group with a four-point cushion to nearest challengers Albania after five wins and one draw from six qualifiers so far, with their 100 per record on the road to Qatar 2022 only ended last time out with a last-gasp 1-1 draw against Poland in Warsaw last month.

James’ withdrawal from the latest squad is hardly a surprise, with Thomas Tuchel having expressed suprise that the Chelsea right-back was called up in the first place given his injury.

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