Gareth Southgate has justified his decision to hand England recalls to Jack Wilshere and Harry Kane for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ qualifier against Scotland and the friendly against Spain.

A loan move from Arsenal to Bournemouth has enabled 24-year-old midfielder Wilshere to enjoy regular first-team football for the first time in years. Kane, meanwhile, returned from seven weeks out with an ankle injury to score Tottenham Hotspur’s equaliser in a 1-1 draw in Sunday’s North London Derby.

“Harry’s a proven goalscorer at every level,” said Southgate. “He’s a player I’ve worked with before with the U-21s, so I know his character.

“It’s obviously the early stages of coming back from quite a long injury, but we saw today the desire that he has and the knack of being in the right place at the right time. Not only [for] the goal he scored, but a couple of other chances. It’s good to have him back in the squad.

"Jack Wilshere is a player that we feel has a lot of class and is now starting to get more 90 minutes under his belt. It's good to bring him back into the squad."

England lead Group F in Russia 2018 qualifying, two points above Lithuania and Slovenia. Scotland, who visit Wembley on Friday, are three points off the pace in fourth.

Only Brazil (20), Germany (18), Italy (18), Argentina (16) and Mexico (15) have participated in more World Cups than England (14).