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Joe Hart, Jack Wilshere and Gary Cahill have all missed out on England’s World Cup squad, sources have told ESPN FC, as manager Gareth Southgate overhauls the team that will compete in Russia.
Southgate chose to omit West Ham goalkeeper Hart in favour of Burnley No. 1 Nick Pope, with Arsenal midfielder Wilshere’s space set to go to Manchester City’s Fabian Delph, sources said ahead of Wednesday’s confirmation of the 23-man squad.
Hart had been expected to join England as third-choice goalkeeper behind Jordan Pickford and Jack Butland despite his disappointing season on loan from Manchester City.
But sources said Southgate has chosen to make the selection on recent form rather than Hart’s experience of major tournaments, leaving the 31-year-old, capped 75 times, facing up to the end of his international career.
Pope has yet to be capped by England, having only made his Premier League debut last September following an injury to Burnley teammate and England international Tom Heaton.
The 26-year-old was named in the squad for the recent friendlies against Netherlands and Italy, however, and he is now set to make his senior debut against either Nigeria or Costa Rica in the final warm-up games next month ahead of the World Cup.
Delph has nine caps but has not appeared for England since a friendly in May 2016, and not in a competitive game since a European Championship qualifier against Switzerland in September 2015.
But the 28-year-old performed well in 22 Premier League starts for Manchester City this season, filling in after Benjamin Mendy’s injury.
Delph is preferred to Wilshere, who returned to Arsenal this season after a loan to Bournemouth last year and a broken leg that caused him to miss nearly all of the 2015-16 season. But fitness issues remain a concern despite his 38 appearances in all competitions this season.
Chelsea defender Cahill, 32, is set to be omitted despite starting eight of England’s 10 World Cup qualifiers.