Manchester United's Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard called to England squad
Manchester United forwards Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard have been recalled by England's new interim manager Gareth Southgate.
Southgate was handed the reins for the next four games after Sam Allardyce's contract was terminated just one game into his tenure and named his first squad on Sunday night.
The Red Devils pair were the eye-catching names, having fought their way into Jose Mourinho's starting XI at Old Trafford, while Stoke's Glen Johnson, Southampton's Ryan Bertrand and Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also returned for the matches at home to Malta and away to Slovenia.
Rashford was a surprise omission from Allardyce's first squad in August, dropping down to Southgate's Under-21s and scoring a brilliant hat trick against Norway.
Having been left out of the Young Lions group earlier this week by Aidy Boothroyd, his promotion seemed inevitable and Southgate duly brought him in to replace injured striker Harry Kane.
Lingard has also been a lively performer for United and, although he has yet to win his first senior cap, he is not an entirely new face having been called up by Roy Hodgson for a 2015 friendly against France.
Adam Lallana scored the late winner against Slovakia, ultimately the only goal of the Allardyce reign, but was ruled out of the forthcoming double header after hurting his groin against Swansea.
His omission created room for Oxlade-Chamberlain, shortly after he was involved in Arsenal's injury-time winner at Burnley.
Southgate has also drafted Bertrand and Johnson to cover the full-back areas with Luke Shaw (groin tear and throat infection) and Nathaniel Clyne (knee) out.
Johnson's selection was the least anticipated, with Stoke struggling at the foot of the Premier League table and suffering from the worst goal difference in the division, though he turned in a strong display in a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford on Sunday.
The 32-year-old full-back last featured for England at the 2014 World Cup.
Southgate retained the uncapped Michail Antonio in his 23-man group, but there was no lifeline for Ross Barkley or Jack Wilshere, who were both disappointed to be overlooked by Allardyce.
Southgate, explaining his maiden selection, told FATV: "We've tried to keep some continuity from last month because my view would be a lot of things have been going right.
"Everybody's been focusing on the things that maybe can improve with the team but I think a lot of things have been going right. That continuity's important.
"We had a few people unavailable through injury, obviously Harry Kane, Jack Butland and we lost a couple over the weekend ... Danny Drinkwater, Adam Lallana, Nathaniel Clyne and Luke Shaw's not quite back fully fit yet.
"That's had a bearing on the squad and a couple of players I've worked with, with Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard, in the Under-21s who we think are exciting players and we wanted to put in this squad.''
England's 23-man squad to face Malta and Slovenia:
Goalkeepers: Forster (Southampton), Hart (Torino), Heaton (Burnley)
Defenders: Bertrand (Southampton), Cahill (Chelsea), Jagielka (Everton), Johnson (Stoke), Rose (Tottenham), Smalling (Man Utd), Stones (Man City), Walker (Tottenham)
Midfielders: Dier (Tottenham), Henderson (Liverpool) Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal) Alli (Tottenham), Rooney (Man Utd), Antonio (West Ham), Lingard (Man Utd), Sterling (Man City)
Forwards: Walcott (Arsenal), Rashford (Man Utd), Sturridge (Liverpool), Vardy (Leicester).