Uncapped duo Alli, Ings named in England squad
Uncapped duo Dele Alli and Danny Ings have been named in the England squad for the upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers against Estonia and Lithuania.
Alli has impressed for Tottenham this season since arriving from MK Dons and Ings has scored two goals in his last three games for Liverpool.
There was no place in Hodgson’s 24-man squad for Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge even though he has recovered from injury.
Alli was playing League One football last season, but with Jack Wilshere and Jordan Henderson injured, the 19-year-old could find himself representing his country at senior level over the next couple of weeks.
Ryan Bertrand is recalled to the squad in place of Luke Shaw, who broke his leg in two places playing for Manchester United against PSV Eindhoven last month.
John Stones will also have the opportunity to add to his six caps. The Everton defender is joined in the party by Manchester United center-back Phil Jones, who has recovered from a blood clot in his calf.
Jones’ United team-mate Michael Carrick is included in the squad for the double-header despite recent injury concerns.
There was no place in the squad for James Ward-Prowse or Jack Cork despite their recent good form.
Jamie Vardy, who has scored six goals for Leicester this season, is included.
He will compete with Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane, Ings and Theo Walcott for a place up front.
England host Estonia at Wembley on Friday October 9 before they travel to Lithuania for their final qualifier three days later.
The Three Lions have already qualified for Euro 2016 after winning all eight of their matches so far.
On Ings, Hodgson said: "Danny is someone we followed very closely at Burnley last year but didn’t have a chance to bring him in because of the Under-21s – we never felt we could rob them to have him with us – but now is a good opportunity to bring him in.
"Dele is, I suppose, the more offbeat one in the sense he’s so young and has only just broken into the Tottenham team, but we’re very impressed with what we’ve seen. It’s a good opportunity with so many midfielders away through injury. Who knows where he will end up? He’s a very exciting talent."
As for Sturridge, Hodgson added: "We can survive without him and are hoping he comes to us in November super-fit, fully recovered and in great form.
"I think it’s a strong squad. The game in Lithuania is the one where, if any experimentation takes place, it’ll be there. It may damage our chances of getting the perfect 10 (wins) but I’m prepared to accept that.
"I won’t be sacrificing the game in any shape or form but I would argue the changes I make in Lithuania could make us stronger because certain players are confident."
Hodgson had kind words for injured left-back Shaw, adding: "It’s a cruel blow for him. I think he knows how much we care about him. It’s heartbreaking and we feel for him.
"He’ll realise from the work he’s done with us and what the other staff have said to him that we had high hopes for him for 2016. We were punting on him being arguably the best left-back in the tournament."
On Aston Villa winger Jack Grealish’s decision to pursue an international career with England, rather than the Republic of Ireland, Hodgson added: "I’m very pleased. I think it’s the right decision.
"What matters now is how he does for Aston Villa. There are no guarantees from my point."