The World Cup starts in three weeks, with the final 26-man squads due in two weeks. All participants were also required to submit provisional squads of up to 55 players by October 21, though most have chosen to keep that selection a secret for some unfathomable reason. England (like Spain) are among the many to have kept the lists secret even from the players themselves, which is even more weird.
But the secrecy appears to have not been watertight, with The Athletic learning of a few names (beyond the obvious ones), including Chelsea’s own Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Ruben, who went to the 2018 World Cup as a 22-year-old on the back of an excellent season on loan at Crystal Palace, has been out of the England selection pretty much ever since, making just two appearances in those four years and none since November 2018. In fact, he hasn’t even been called up since March 2019, when he had to pull out due to an ankle injury. A couple months later he would tear his Achilles in a charity match, derailing his career for a few years.
But RLC has fought back and has established himself as a Chelsea regular over the past 18 months, mostly in midfield but sometimes at right back. And center back. And center forward. And winger. And ... well, everywhere but goalkeeper.
Such versatility just might come in handy at the World Cup!