The 24-year-old was a heavily experienced England youth international, and overtook Alan Shearer’s long-held record to become the England Under-21s’ highest-ever goalscorer, last playing at that level in 2021 and finishing with 16 goals in 17 caps.
Nketiah has scored in two of Arsenal’s opening three games of the new Premier League season, and has been rewarded with his first senior call-up.
“Two young players who are doing very well and have done well with our junior teams”, Southgate said about Nketiah and Levi Colwill, the Chelsea defender who has also been called up for the first time.
“Levi had some time with us in the summer and the basis of this squad is that we left Old Trafford [in June] after two really good performances in the group, so I didn’t really want to move from the squad we had that day.
“With Eddie coming in, it is an area where we want to have a look at him. Young player with a lot of pedigree, really good finisher, and the record goalscorer in the Under-21s.”
Speaking about Colwill, Southgate added: “He is doing really well, he is progressing. We really liked him at the end of last season with Brighton. He had a really good tournament with the Under 21s so he showed under pressure he could cope.
“He’s started well with Chelsea in a slightly different position. Not ideal for him, as it’s something he hasn’t done in a while, but he has in the past.”
Taking to social media after it was announced he had received the call-up, Nketiah tweeted: “It’s an honour to receive my first senior call up. Glory be to God - can’t wait to meet up with the squad!”