Cole Palmer, Rico Lewis’s former teammate, will also be joining the England group for the first time as a senior call-up for the Manchester City star.
Due to injuries to players like James Maddison, Jude Bellingham, and Callum Wilson, Lewis was included to Gareth Southgate’s squad after the fact. Lee Carsley’s under-21 team was originally scheduled to include the 18-year-old, but he was called up due to his outstanding performance with City.
England will host Malta on Friday night and then travel to North Macedonia on Monday, two crucial Euro 2024 qualifying matches. Lewis teams up with fellow Blues players Jack Grealish, Phil Foden, Kyle Walker, and Kalvin Phillips.
Following their respective stellar season debuts, Southgate has had numerous requests to include Lewis and Palmer in the senior team. Palmer joined Chelsea in the summer and gave his old team nightmares on Sunday by scoring an added-time penalty in a 4–4 tie.
Southgate discussed his original choice to keep Lewis and Palmer in the under-21 squad just last week.
“I think he is developing really well, he is very comfortable with the ball, but he plays in a very specific role for Manchester City,” Southgate said about Lewis specifically to the BBC. “They are essentially using him as a high eight, and he works incredibly well within their framework.
“Internationally, I believe that the under-21s are currently the best fit for his growth at this point in time. But without a doubt, Cole Palmer and [Newcastle defender] Tino Livramento in particular are being watched, along with him.”