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'I'm told': Aston Villa man has made England's provisional 55-man World Cup squad in big surprise - journalist
Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

'I'm told': Aston Villa man has made England's provisional 55-man World Cup squad in big surprise - journalist

Aston Villa full-back Ashley Young has been included in the provisional England squad for the World Cup in Qatar.

Young went to the 2018 tournament with the Three Lions, starting five games in Russia during the run to the semi-finals.

That extra-time defeat to Croatia was his most recent game in and England shirt, with Gareth Southgate looking towards younger options thereafter.

Southgate has had to name an extended party in the first instance for Qatar, before narrowing it down to his final 26 tomorrow.

Photo by Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Young in provisional England squad

Journalist Matt Law has tweeted that the 37-year-old is in the 55-man party, but is not expected to remain in contention when it is trimmed.

England do have injury issues at full-back, with Reece James already ruled out and Kyle Walker facing a race against time.

Ben Chilwell is also ruled out, meaning that there is not an obvious option to offer cover and competition to Luke Shaw, who of course scored in the final of Euro 2020.

Former Villa boss Steven Gerrard said of Young Aston Villa’s official website last season: “He’s shown fantastic leadership around the training ground.

“He’s a standards setter. The young lads look up to him and he’s got a big part to play. He is someone we have to manage because we have to respect where he’s at.

“He’s been perfect for me and us as a group of staff. You need players in the dressing room you can lean on to be an outer version of your staff to send the right messages and to lead in the right way. Ash has been fantastic.

“Not only have I competed against Ash but I’ve shared a dressing room with him for England, so I was very much aware that he’d help me.”

His level of performance has got him a surprise inclusion in the extended party, but what a story it would be if he went to the World Cup once again.

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