Ex-Chelsea academy star receives first England call-up as two Man United stars axed

Marcus Rashford has been axed from the England squad – but there is a first call-up for former Chelsea academy star Marc Guehi from manager Gareth Southgate ahead of the two friendlies with Switzerland and the Ivory Coast.

Jadon Sancho is also a high-profile omission from Gareth Southgate’s first squad of the year despite his improvement at Manchester United, though Ben White’s excellent form at Arsenal has earned the defender a recall.

Guehi has impressed for Palace this season, establishing himself as a regular since his £18million move from Chelsea last summer.

England manager Gareth Southgate was impressed as he watched Guehi against Wolves earlier this month, while assistant Steve Holland also saw him play against Manchester City in their goalless draw on Monday.

Southgate said in regards to his inclusion of Guehi: “Marc has had a really consistent season.

“We’ve been really impressed with him on and off the ball, in the biggest games, he has been very calm. We know him well from our junior teams as a World Cup winner.”

Guehi has previously been capped 16 times at Under-21 level and was part of the Under-17 side that won the 2017 World Cup.

Gallagher though has made the team for a second time after his stunning form on loan from Chelsea.

Manchester United pair Rashford and Sancho failed to make the squad – despite the latter’s improvement since the turn of the year.

Rashford’s absence perhaps comes as no surprise due to the winger’s difficulties at Old Trafford this season.

On his decision not to pick Sancho and Rashford, he said: ‘The other attacking players are slightly ahead of them in our thinking.

“Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish, Emile Smith Rowe. Sancho’s performances have undoubtedly improved for Manchester United but he has to do a bit more.

“It is a difficult time for him (Rashford). He’s clearly not at his best. There’s plenty of time, we know a lot about Marcus anyway and hopefully he can rediscover some of his form.”