GARETH SOUTHGATE is set to name Eberechi Eze in his initial World Cup squad, according to reports.
The Crystal Palace star has been pushing for a spot in the England set-up and looks set to finally be rewarded for some fine early-season form.
However, according to the Daily Mail, this will be due to him being one of a staggering 55 players who Southgate will name in a preliminary extended squad.
This figure will be whittled down to 26 by the time the tournament starts.
24-year-old Eze has two goals and two assists in the Premier League this season.
He has netted twice goals in his last three games – including a crucial equaliser in the Eagles’ 2-1 win over Wolves on Tuesday.
Fellow Eagles stars Marc Guehi and Tyrick Mitchell are also set to be included in the initial squad.
Southgate, who wants to remain in charge at the helm of the Three Lions after the World Cup despite rumours linking Thomas Tuchel to the England job, is a big fan of Eze.
The creative midfielder was involved in Southgate’s provisional 33-man squad for the European Championships before an Achilles rupture ended his England Euro’s dream.
SunSport revealed how a number of players could be included in the provisional squad which must be submitted by Friday.
Another name in contention for a shock call up include Liverpool defender Joe Gomez, who has been out of the squad for two years and has endured a tough season with the Reds so far.
Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho has criticised Southgate’s Three Lions selection and claimed Chris Smalling should be involved due to his strong performances for Roma.
England are entering the tournament in the worst way possible, having not won any of the last six games and suffering the ignominy of being relegated from the Uefa Nation’s League.
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