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Trio Get World Cup Nod

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

Everton v Krasnodar

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Everton trio Phil Jagielka, Leighton Baines and Ross Barkley will all be heading to Brazil this summer after being included in England's 23-man squad for the World Cup.

Manager Roy Hodgson has also named Blues defender John Stones as one of seven standby players for the tournament.

Barkley's inclusion comes at the end of a sparkling breakthrough campaign which saw him earn the first of three international caps in a World Cup qualifier against Moldova in September.

The 20-year-old Academy product ended the season having made 38 appearances for his club side, scoring seven goals and earning a nomination for the PFA Young Player of the Year award.

His form also saw him named Everton's Young Player of the Year at last Wednesday's annual End of Season Awards, while his stunning recent effort against Manchester City topped the Club's Goal of the Season poll.

And Hodgson said: "He is a very, very exciting player and an exciting talent. If he can continue at that level he has a fantastic future in front of him, but I would just hope that people are realistic in their expectations.

"We think he is a very exciting member of this team but I wouldn’t want to put him under enormous pressure so that every time he gets the ball he has to score like he did against Manchester City recently, or run 40 yards beating five players along the way.”

Jagielka and Baines had been widely tipped to make the cut for the final squad having each appeared in seven qualifying matches as England topped their group ahead of Ukraine, Montenegro and Poland.

Baines will now get the chance to add to his 22 caps, with fellow left-back Ashley Cole having announced his retirement from international football on Sunday having been omitted from the South America-bound party at the expense of Southampton's 18-year-old starlet Luke Shaw.

Jagielka will vie with Chelsea's Gary Cahill and Manchester United duo Chris Smalling and Phil Jones to be one of Hodgson's first-choice centre-halves.

Jagielka and Baines have both been regulars for Everton boss Roberto Martinez during his first campaign in charge at Goodison Park, helping the Blues smash their previous best Premier League points tally and provide the third tightest defence in the division. Baines has also weighed in with six goals this term.

Stones, too, has played his part and earns a place on Hodgson's standby list on the back of 26 first-team outings, including 15 Premier League starts.

The uncapped 19-year-old was particularly impressive in deputising for the injured Jagielka for 11 straight games towards the end of the campaign, earning rave reviews from his manager and backing from former England striker Gary Lineker.

Speaking after naming his squad, Hodgson said Stones would be elevated to the final 23 if Phil Jones fails to shake off a shoulder problem.

"Phil Jones had the shoulder injury a week ago today and everything points towards it being a three-week injury," he said. "But we can't guarantee that and, as a result, I will be taking John Stones and Jon Flanagan (as standby players) and John Stones will be Phil Jones' replacement if he's not fit."

England will prepare for their tournament opener against Italy on Saturday 14 June with a match against Peru at Wembley on 30 May, before facing back-to-back friendlies against Ecuador and Honduras in Miami on 4 and 7 June respectively.

Look out on evertonfc.com for news of more international call-ups in the build-up to Brazil 2014.

England squad:

Goalkeepers: Fraser Forster (Celtic), Ben Foster (West Bromwich Albion), Joe Hart (Manchester City).

Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Southampton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United).

Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Everton), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Southampton), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal).

Attackers: Rickie Lambert (Southampton), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United).

Standby: John Ruddy (Norwich City), Jon Flanagan (Liverpool), John Stones (Everton), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Andy Carroll (West Ham United), Jermain Defoe (Toronto FC).

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