Southampton form earns first senior England call-up for former Norwich City winger Nathan Redmond
- Credit: PA
Former Norwich City winger Nathan Redmond has been named in the England senior squad for the first time.
The Canaries sold the Birmingham City academy product to Southampton for a club record fee following Premier League relegation last year, in a deal worth around £11m, which also includes a sell-on clause.
Redmond has scored six goals in 38 games for the Saints this season and recently impressed in the EFL Cup final at Wembley, where Southampton were beaten 3-2 by Manchester United.
The 23-year-old picked up the England Under-21 Player of the Year award in January, after helping the squad win the prestigious Toulon tournament in France last summer and to qualify for this summer's European Under-21 Championship.
He now progresses to Gareth Southgate's full squad, after picking up 34 caps for the U21s and a total of 73 caps across the age groups for the Three Lions.
Redmond was brought to Norfolk by Chris Hughton in the summer of 2013 in a deal worth £3.2m and went on to score 13 goals in 123 games for City, including memorable strikes against Ipswich and Middlesbrough in the play-off campaign of 2014-15.
Southgate sprung several shocks when he named his first England squad since becoming permanent manager, including Jermain Defoe, Jake Livermore and Luke Shaw as well as four uncapped players.
The 26-man group to face Germany and Lithuania includes Southampton pair James Ward-Prowse and Redmond, both of whom have played for Southgate at U21 level but have yet to feature for the seniors, along with the uncapped Michael Keane and Michail Antonio.
Marcus Rashford, Phil Jones and Ross Barkley have also earned recalls to the international stage but there is no place for skipper Wayne Rooney, who is currently recovering from a knee problem.
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Asked about the inclusion of Redmond and Ward-Prowse, Southgate said: 'Players that we've worked with before, players that are in excellent form with their club, both performed very well in a pressure environment of the cup final with Southampton.
'We are aiming for those guys to go to the under-21s Euros this summer but also we didn't want to hold them back, they deserve the opportunity, they've been performing very well in our junior age groups for a long time and they are two we wanted to introduce into the senior environment and see how they get on.'
This summer's U21 tournament is being played in Poland and will be Redmond's third appearance, having been part of Stuart Pearce's team which lost all three group games in Israel in 2013 and Southgate's team which were eliminated in the group stage in the Czech Republic in 2015, although the winger was named in Uefa's team of the tournament.
'They've been a key part of that squad right the way through,' Southgate continued, speaking to the FA's website.
'We see that tournament experience as vital to the development of our young players and they are part of a very exciting under-21 team at the moment but for them this week it's a great opportunity for them to be with the senior team and to see how they settle into that environment.'
England squad for friendly in Germany (Wednesday, March 22) and World Cup qualifier against Lithuania (Sunday, March 26)
Fraser Forster (Southampton), Joe Hart (Torino, on loan from Man City), Tom Heaton (Burnley); Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool), Phil Jones (Man Utd), Michael Keane (Burnley), Luke Shaw (Man Utd), Chris Smalling (Man Utd), John Stones (Man City), Kyle Walker (Tottenham); Dele Alli (Tottenham), Michail Antonio (West Ham), Ross Barkley (Everton), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Man Utd), Jake Livermore (West Brom), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Nathan Redmond (Southampton), Raheem Sterling (Man City), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton); Jermain Defoe (Sunderland), Marcus Rashford (Man Utd), Jamie Vardy (Leicester).