Chelsea defender Reece James is promoted to England’s senior squad for the first time ahead of games with Wales, Belgium and Denmark – as Raheem Sterling pulls out

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Chelsea’s Reece James will join Gareth Southgate’s England squad on Monday
The defender has been called up to the seniors after two Under-21 appearances
It remains to be seen if he will replace one of the three right backs in the squad
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker were all called up
Jadon Sancho, Ben Chilwell and Tammy Abraham are waiting to find out their fate after breaking the Government’s rule of six over the weekend

Chelsea defender Reece James has been promoted into the senior England set-up ahead of the forthcoming international triple header.

The full-back has established himself as an integral member of Frank Lampard’s first-team plans at Stamford Bridge since the start of last season.

And the 20-year-old will now prepare for England’s games against Wales, Belgium and Denmark with Gareth Southgate’s squad – his first involvement with the senior team.

It remains to be seen whether James is a replacement for another one of England’s recognised right-backs, with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker already in the squad.

Raheem Sterling, however, has withdrawn from the squad through injury. The forward sustained the problem during Manchester City’s 1-1 draw with Leeds on Saturday, a game in which he scored.

Tammy Abraham, Ben Chilwell and Jadon Sancho’s arrival to St George’s Park has been delayed while the Football Association investigate reports the three players attended a social gathering at the weekend which broke coronavirus rules.

Chilwell was photographed at Tammy Abraham’s surprise 23rd birthday party on Saturday night, contravening Government regulations that no more than six people can mix together at any one time in the process.

Sancho also joined Abraham and Chilwell at the party, with the FA expected to release an official squad update later today.

And James could be a replacement for his club team-mate Chilwell, if the defender is forced to withdraw from the squad.

As of last night, the trio were still expected to report for international duty for testing – but it remains to be seen whether that will happen at St George’s Park or elsewhere.

It is claimed that England players Chilwell, Sancho and Abraham were at the gathering of around 20 people.

The party took place just hours after Chelsea’s 4-0 win over Crystal Palace in which Chilwell and Abraham featured.

Borussia Dortmund winger Sancho is in England ahead of his scheduled meeting with England today.

But their involvement for the forthcoming games has been cast under a shadow as footage of the party appeared on social media.

Abraham issued an apology last night, saying: ‘I arrived home to find a small surprise gathering.

‘Though I was totally unaware this was planned, I would like to wholeheartedly apologise for the naivety shown for the organisation and attending of this gathering.

‘All I can do now is learn from it, apologise to everyone and ensure it never happens again.’

Nevertheless, the party poses another headache for manager Southgate, who was beset by off the field problems during the previous international break.

The England manager had already planned to remind all his players of their responsibilities at a team meeting tonight after he was forced to axe Harry Maguire from his squad following allegations of a violent altercation with Greek police before booting youngsters Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden out his squad after the pair invited two girls back to the team hotel following the win over Iceland.

And Saturday’s party involving his players will only serve to disrupt his side’s preparations for this week’s matches – the first of which against Wales takes place on Thursday at Wembley.

Southgate is set to discuss the issue with the three players before deciding if any disciplinary measures are necessary.


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