Henderson, 33, left Liverpool for Saudi side Al-Ettifaq last month but is included in Southgate’s squad for the games against Ukraine and Scotland.
It remains to be seen if Southgate can continue to pick Henderson indefinitely ahead of next summer’s European Championship given the quality of the Saudi Pro League, but, for now, the England manager is keeping the faith in one of his most experienced players.
Earlier this month, Southgate revealed that Henderson sought assurances from him over his England future if he moved to Saudi and insisted it would be “stupid” to rule out the midfielder based on where he is playing.
“I spoke to him in the summer, the question he wanted to know was, ‘If I move here, are you going to automatically rule me out?’” Southgate said.
“We would be stupid to do that. Why would we rule anyone out based on where they are playing? We have to see how they are playing. We have an idea of what [the Saudi] league will look like, but we won’t know until we actually start to see the games.”
Henderson has since made three appearances for Al-Ettifaq, who are managed by his former Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard.
Chelsea centre-back Levi Colwill, 20, has earned a first senior England call-up after starting all four games under Mauricio Pochettino so far this season and starring in the Under-21s’ European Championship triumph in Georgia over the summer.
Colwill was forced off during Chelsea’s Carabao Cup second-round win over AFC Wimbledon on Wednesday night, but Pochettino described it as a “small problem” and hopes he will be available for Saturday’s game against Nottingham Forest in the Premier League.
On fellow uncapped player Nketiah, Southgate said: “I didn't really want to move from the squad we had [in June]. Eddie is coming in because it's an area where we'd like to look at him. Very good pedigree. Good finisher. Top scorer for the U21s."
England face Ukraine in a Euro 2024 qualifier on Saturday week, with the match to be played in WrocÅaw, Poland due to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. They also play Scotland in a Hampden Park friendly three days later.