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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Shaw gets first England call, Defoe in

Southampton left-back Luke Shaw has been called up by England for their friendly against Denmark next week, their last game before manager Roy Hodgson selects his provisional squad for this summer's World Cup finals.

Shaw has committed his future to Southampton.
Shaw, 18, is seen by many as a future mainstay at left-back for England.

Jagielka out for two weeks
World Cup Daily: Thursday

Striker Jermain Defoe -- who is due to join MLS side Toronto FC imminently -- has also been called up despite only featuring sporadically for Tottenham in recent weeks.

Shaw, 18, has previously been a member of Gareth Southgate’s U21 set-up this season.

But after having impressed at St Mary’s in recent years, the defender, who has been linked with a move to Manchester United and Chelsea, has been rewarded with a place in Hodgson’s squad for the Wembley clash on March 5.

On the selection of Shaw, Hodgson said: “Anyone who’s watched him play recently will not deny he’s worth a place in a large squad like this. He’s played extremely well and he’s a very exciting talent.

"I’ve not worked with him in the under-21s, but I’ve seen him with the under-21s and I’ve had the chance to meet him. I thought it was the right moment to invite him along.

"He’s a player in a position where we’re very well off but he wants to compete with the other two for a place on the plane to Brazil. I thought it was the right time to bring him in and let him show what he can do."

Shaw told Southampton's official website: "It's a very proud day for me, I still cannot believe it. I'm only 18. I cannot believe it. I am really excited. It's a massive confidence boost for me.

"Roy rang me this morning and told me I was in the senior team, and that I was there on merit. I wasn't expecting it. I didn't know what to say."

A picture of Shaw rubbing his eyes while talking on his phone, captured shortly after he heard he had been called up to the squad, showed just how much the news meant to the teenager.

"I saw [speculation about a senior call-up] on Twitter over the past month but I tried to ignore it," he added. "I was always thinking I was going to be called up to the under-21 squad but to get a senior one is unbelievable."

Defoe's inclusion comes as a surprise with the former Portsmouth man bound for North America, however, the Three Lions boss has decided to keep faith in him.

Liverpool duo Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling have also been rewarded for their impressive form this term.

Henderson, who has won seven caps for England in the past, has regained his place in Brendan Rodgers’ side after appearing to be surplus to requirements at one point, while Sterling has also forced his way back into the Reds first XI with some exciting performances.

Elsewhere, Southampton trio Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez have been given another chance to impress by Hodgson, having all been given their international debuts by him earlier this season.

Celtic’s Fraser Forster has been included after the goalkeeper broke the Scottish record for the longest amount of time without conceding a goal, while there is also a place for Cardiff centre-back Steven Caulker. Ashley Cole, meanwhile, keeps his place in the squad despite being out of favour at Chelsea.

Goalkeepers: Fraser Forster (Celtic), Ben Foster (West Bromwich Albion), Joe Hart (Manchester City), John Ruddy (Norwich City)

Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Steven Caulker (Cardiff City), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Luke Shaw (Southampton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur)

Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Everton), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Southampton), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Andros Townsend (Tottenham Hotspur), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal)

Forwards: Jermain Defoe (Toronto FC), Rickie Lambert (Southampton), Jay Rodriguez (Southampton), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Daniel Welbeck (Manchester United)


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