Gareth Southgate names Jermain Defoe in England squad to face Germany and Lithuania

George Flood
Jermain Defoe

Gareth Southgate has named veteran striker Jermain Defoe in his first England squad since being appointed permanent successor to Roy Hodgson.

The 34-year-old, a pivotal figure for Premier League relegation battlers Sunderland, has not made any international appearances since November 2013 but will hope to add to his haul of 55 senior caps next week as the Three Lions head to Dortmund for a friendly meeting with Germany before hosting Group F rivals Lithuania in a 2018 World Cup qualifying tie at Wembley.

Trending: Tottenham to fend off interest in Mauricio Pochettino from Paris Saint-Germain

Defoe's recall comes at a time when England are facing something of a striker crisis. Harry Kane is dealing with ankle ligament damage, captain Wayne Rooney is suffering from a knee problem and injury-plagued Liverpool frontman Daniel Sturridge has been sidelined with a hip issue.

Marcus Rashford, who was initially expected to be named in Aidy Boothroyd's U21 squad for matches against Germany and Denmark after overcoming a bout of illness, is also included in the main squad as a result, alongside the likes of Raheem Sterling and Jamie Vardy.

Don't miss: Europa League draw: Manchester United star Juan Mata reveals preferences for quarter-final

Seventeen-goal Theo Walcott, his Arsenal teammate Danny Welbeck and West Ham United's Andy Carroll are among the most high-profile attacking omissions. There is also no place for Bournemouth loanee Jack Wilshere, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain might be doubtful due to a hamstring complaint.

"I think his goalscoring record this year speaks for itself," Southgate said of Defoe. "He's a finisher. He's a player who has played at nearly every age group for England. He's very proud to play for England. I think you can have the young players who are hungry and you can have older players who are hungry as well. I didn't want age to be a barrier to someone coming in.

Most popular: Champions League quarter final draw: Atletico Madrid vs Leicester City, Bayern Munich vs Real Madrid

"Generally speaking we are looking towards the future, but at times an older player in this camp, with his experience, with his goalscoring record, is an important part of the squad. I think we can't just look at young players all of the time, we have to get results now and we also have to plan for the future."

Southgate has handed maiden senior call-ups to Southampton pair James Ward-Prowse and Nathan Redmond, and uncapped duo Michael Keane and Michail Antonio are given the nod once more. Jake Livermore, who swapped Hull City for West Bromwich Albion in a £10m ($12.3m) deal during the January transfer window, is perhaps the most surprising addition. The versatile former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder earned his only cap to date back in 2012 during a friendly against Italy.

Alongside Everton playmaker Ross Barkley, left-back Luke Shaw also returns to the fold despite having made just two appearances for Manchester United since November.

You may be interested in:

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes