Wayne Rooney's England exile is set to continue after he was omitted by Gareth Southgate from the squad that will contest a June double-header against Scotland and France. Manchester United teammate Marcus Rashford was included in the 25-man group named on Thursday (25 May), while Tottenham Hotspur right-back Kieran Trippier has been handed his maiden senior international call-up.
Rooney, officially the Three Lions captain and record goalscorer who has notched 53 times in 119 appearances for his country, played no part in fixtures against Germany and Lithuania in March thanks to a combination of injury and a lack of regular first-team football.
He has started on six occasions in the Premier League since then, although that was mostly due to Jose Mourinho's decision to prioritise the club's run to the final of the Europa League.
Rooney, out of contract next month, was introduced as a late replacement for Juan Mata during Wednesday night's comfortable 2-0 victory over Ajax in Stockholm in what may well have been the final appearance of his 13-year stint at Old Trafford.
This latest blow would appear to suggest that his England career is also coming to an end.
More controversial is the inclusion of Rashford, who has been retained by England as a senior player and will therefore not return to the Under-21 squad for the upcoming European Championship. Mourinho stated last month that he did not feel it would make sense for the 19-year-old, who will now be afforded a summer of rest after playing a bit-part role at Euro 2016, to drop a level having already amassed several senior caps.
Explaining that decision, Southgate said: "He's in the senior squad on merit, and has been for a year. He had one game with the Under-21s when I was there in September and he was outstanding that day, but he's not really been a part of the Under-21 squad. His performances warrant him being in the senior squad.
"The question then is: could he have gone with the Under-21s after that? In my opinion, no. He's a 19-year-old player who's had an exceptional season and by then will have had virtually 60 matches by that point. Somebody has to protect him. Somebody has to manage the development of a young player, and that has to be my call."
Tottenham duo Eric Dier and Dele Alli will also not be considered for that tournament in Poland despite their eligibility, although Southampton pair James Ward-Prowse and Nathan Redmond are among the 28 players invited by Aidy Boothroyd to St George's Park for a five-day pre-Euro training camp. The Uefa deadline for final squad submissions is 6 June.
Elsewhere in the senior squad, Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland returns to the international fold for the first time since fracturing his right ankle during a 3-2 win over Germany in March 2016. Middlesbrough centre-back Ben Gibson is in from the start after being drafted in as a replacement for Chris Smalling last time around. Jermain Defoe retains his spot, but Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge, Burnley's Michael Keane and Everton's Ross Barkley miss out due to injury. One-cap West Ham United left-back Aaron Cresswell is also back.
England, who currently top Group F following four wins and one draw from their opening five fixtures, meet auld enemy Scotland in a 2018 World Cup qualifier at Hampden Park on 10 June. They then travel to the Stade de France three days later for a friendly against Les Bleus.
25-man England squad to face Scotland and France
Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Joe Hart (Manchester City), Tom Heaton (Burnley)
Defenders: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool), Aaron Cresswell (West Ham United), Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur)
Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Jake Livermore (West Bromwich Albion), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
Forwards: Jermain Defoe (Sunderland), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)