Gareth Southgate has called up Cole Palmer, Rico Lewis, and Ezri Konsa for the upcoming England matches against Malta and North Macedonia. This trio steps in after the withdrawals of James Maddison, Lewis Dunk, and Callum Wilson, and with Jude Bellingham likely to follow suit. Palmer, 21, earned his spot with stellar performances for Chelsea, including a recent stoppage-time penalty goal against Manchester City. Despite fierce competition, his four goals in the first 10 games since his £40 million move to Stamford Bridge establish him as one of the Premier League’s in-form players.
Joining Palmer is fellow City academy graduate Lewis, an 18-year-old who has become a regular under Pep Guardiola in the last two seasons. At the age of 26, Konsa receives his first call-up after standing out in defense during Aston Villa’s ascent under Unai Emery. Having played every minute of Villa’s Premier League campaign, Konsa has contributed to their current fifth-place standing after 12 games.
Having already secured qualification for Euro 2024, these new faces aim to earn their first senior caps for the Three Lions. All three players have previous experience representing England at youth levels, with Palmer part of the squad that won the European Under-21 Championship in the summer. Konsa adds international success to his resume, having lifted the U-20 World Cup in 2017.
England will host Malta at Wembley on Friday night, followed by a trip to face North Macedonia next Monday.