Declan Rice drops out of England squad for World Cup qualifiers as he struggles with illness | Football News

Declan Rice has withdrawn from the England squad due to illness.

The West Ham midfielder will now miss the World Cup qualifiers against Albania and San Marino after being unable to train since arriving at St George’s Park.

England do not plan to make any further additions to the squad.

Rice is the latest member of the England squad to drop out of this camp, following Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford and Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse.

Arsenal midfielder Emile Smith Rowe, 21, has replaced them, earning his first call up to the England senior side.

Chelsea’s Mason Mount and United’s Luke Shaw are yet to report to St George’s Park, but have not been ruled out of this month’s World Cup qualifiers.

A statement from the FA read: “Having been unable to train due to illness since reporting to St George’s Park, the midfielder has returned to West Ham United and will play no part in the forthcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

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Highlights of the World Cup European Qualifying Group I match between England and Hungary from Wembley

“No additions to the squad are planned at this moment in time. Mason Mount and Luke Shaw are still yet to link up with the group and continue to be assessed following dental surgery and concussion respectively.”

What do England need to qualify for the World Cup?

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Ahead of the last round of World Cup qualifiers, England are on the cusp of reaching Qatar 2022

England need four points from their final two group games to be certain of qualification to the 2022 World Cup.

England’s lead at the top of Group I was cut to three points last month as they were held to a 1-1 draw with Hungary at Wembley, while Poland beat Albania 1-0 to move into second place.

Gareth Southgate’s side can still secure qualification with a game to spare if they beat Albania at Wembley on Friday November 12 and Poland drop points away to Andorra.

They can also secure their place at the tournament with a game to spare if they draw with Albania – but only in the unlikely event that Poland lose against minnows Andorra.

Given Poland will be expected to beat Andorra, who are ranked 156th in the world, the likelihood is England will not be certain of qualification until after their final group game away to bottom side San Marino on Monday November 15.

Smith Rowe: England call-up a dream come true

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Arsenal forward Emile Smith Rowe says it is a ‘dream come true’ after being called up to the England squad for the first time for this month’s World Cup qualifiers against Albania and San Marino

Emile Smith Rowe described his first call-up to the England senior squad as “a dream come true” as he reflected on a whirlwind 18 months.

The 21-year old Arsenal midfielder has been added to Gareth Southgate’s squad for the first time ahead of England’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Albania and San Marino.

Smith Rowe, who arrived at St George’s Park on Monday before training with his new team-mates, could not contain his excitement when speaking to the media on Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s definitely a dream come true. I didn’t expect it,” he said. “Obviously I was planning to go with the U21s and I got a phone call the day before from Gareth, saying I’d been called up to the first team. It was a great moment for me and my family.

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England U21 assistant coach Ashley Cole says Emile Smith Rowe’s progression into the senior national squad shows the pathway for young players is working

“My mum was actually downstairs at the time, I was upstairs. I ran downstairs straight away and told her. It was very emotional, but they were so proud of me and I couldn’t wait to meet up with the squad.

“I was really nervous during my first training session, to be honest. It’s always hard coming in with new players.

“Obviously I play against these guys every week, but for England it’s always different. After a while I got used to it but I was definitely nervous. I’m sure throughout the week I’ll get into it and get more comfortable.

“Wearing the same training kit and passing the ball to each other, it’s crazy to be alongside these great players. I’m a bit speechless but I’m going to enjoy it as much as I can.”

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