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Dominic Calvert-Lewin included in England squad, but Michael Keane left out

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A surprise, but welcome chance to rest up

England v Republic of Ireland - International Friendly - Wembley Stadium Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images

Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been included in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for their opening World Cup qualifiers next week - but Michael Keane is a surprise omission.

Calvert-Lewin has scored two goals in five senior appearances for the Three Lions since his first call up in October and will have the chance to add to that tally in matches against San Marino, Albania and Poland.

He hasn’t been quite as prolific for the Toffees since the turn of the year, but his goal against Burnley last time out takes his tally to 19 in all competitions.

Keane’s absence is a surprise given he has not really done much wrong since being included in the last squad. Even more so when you consider Southgate has picked Conor Coady, Eric Dier and Tyrone Mings ahead of him.

On a personal level it is a shame for Keane, but from an Evertonian perspective it is fantastic. This campaign has been non-stop so the chance to rest and recuperate for a week or so before the run-in is handy.

With South American qualifiers postponed because of coronavirus quarantine restrictions Keane joins Richarlison, Allan, James and Yerry Mina in resting up during the break.

Andre Gomes has not been included in the Portugal squad so will also remain at Finch Farm, while Abdoulaye Doucoure and Jordan Pickford can use the time to recover from injury.

Their weary performance against Burnley suggests a break and a chance to reset is just what is needed before a final push for the line in the race for Europe.

Robin Olsen, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Seamus Coleman, Josh King, Alex Iwobi and Lucas Digne have been called up by their respective countries. Ben Godfrey and Tom Davies are in the England U21 squad.