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Wolves skipper Conor Coady in England squad for clashes at Molineux

Wolves skipper Conor Coady could grace his home turf in an England kit after being selected for next month’s Nations League matches.

England's Conor Coady celebrates
England's Conor Coady celebrates

Coady, pictured inset, has been selected in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the four games – two of which take place at Molineux.

However, there is no place for Villa duo Tyrone Mings and Ollie Watkins, who have both been omitted.

The fixtures includ trips to Hungary and Germany, on June 4 and 7, followed by back-to-back Molineux encounters with Italy and Hungary following on June 11 and 14.

The Italy clash will be played behind closed doors as a Uefa punishment for England fans’ behaviour in storming turnstiles at the Euro 2021 final against Italy last summer.

Also included in the squad are West Ham forward Jarrod Bowen and Leicester’s James Justin, who receice their first England call-ups. Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, Kalvin Phillips and Fikayo Tomori, fresh from winning Serie A with AC Milan, were also included in the Nations League squad, but there was no recall for in-form Leicester playmaker James Maddison and Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson and Arsenal playmaker Emile Smith-Rowe also missing out.

After a foot injury prevented him receiving his maiden senior call-up in March, West Ham star Bowen was included having finished a fine season with 18 goals and 13 assists in all competitions.

Versatile full-back Justin was a more surprising inclusion. The 24-year-old has made 19 appearances in all competitions since recovering from an anterior cruciate injury sustained in February 2021.

Southgate said West Ham striker Bowen “thoroughly deserves” his first senior call-up.

On Bowen’s inclusion, Southgate said: “Constantly strong performances. We were certainly thinking about involving him in March before he got injured.

“He’s a goal threat and his direct journey is an interesting reminder that you don’t have to be at an elite academy – experience is a great route to go.

“He works incredibly hard for the team, which we want all our players to do. He thoroughly deserves his call-up.”

England are scheduled to play Hungary twice, plus Germany and Italy, between June 4-14.

Southgate said Justin had impressed him and the England coaching set-up since recovering from a serious knee injury last season.

“He’s a player that we’ve followed for a long time and he obviously had a very serious injury and has now, we feel, played the number of matches and been able to play more regularly,” Southgate said.

“He’s comfortable playing left or right-back and very comfortable with the ball, a super athlete, a very good person, all my feedback on him from the Under-21s and people who have worked with him, so we’re really looking forward to working with him more closely.”

Southgate explained why he decided to include Trent Alexander-Arnold and not Liverpool team-mate Jordan Henderson due to their involvement in their club’s Champions League final.

Southgate said: “We’ve learned over the last three or four years, where we’ve had players in that (final) match, the emotional fall-out, win or lose, from that game is enormous.

“So you’re not too sure what’s going to come through the door and very difficult to get yourself up after that, so I spoke with the two lads about what they felt was best for them.

“They’re in different positions because Jordan’s age, the number of caps he’s got, is totally different to Trent of course and we’ve got good players in all those (midfield) areas of the pitch. We’ve got cover.

“But we felt that with Hendo, we didn’t need to see him this summer and with Trent, slightly different. We’d like him to be with us from the start of the camp.

“We gave him the option of reporting a bit later so he got a longer break after the final, but he felt more comfortable to keep going and finish a bit earlier.”

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