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31st Aug 2023

Gareth Southgate reveals why Raheem Sterling was left out of England squad

Callum Boyle

Gareth Southgate Raheem Sterling

The likes of Eddie Nketiah and Callum Wilson were selected ahead of Sterling

Gareth Southgate has revealed the reason behind his decision not to name Raheem Sterling in the latest England squad.

Southgate named his 26-man team for the upcoming September fixtures against Ukraine and Scotland.

The likes of Levi Colwill and Eddie Nkeitah were named in the senior squad for the first time while Harry Maguire, Jordan Henderson and Kalvin Phillips were also included.

Sterling was the most notable absentee given his impressive start to the season for Chelsea. The winger has missed the last two England squads and when asked why one of the Three Lions’ most reliable performers in recent years hadn’t been selected, Southgate explained that Sterling had fallen behind in the pecking order.

“It’s a difficult call. Raheem isn’t particularly happy about it and I understand that. I’m convinced he’s going to have an excellent season at Chelsea,” he said.

“He was not available for the last two and that’s given other people the opportunity to play well and establish themselves.

“It is a difficult call and Raheem is not particularly happy about it but I understand that.”

Henderson was also one of the surprise inclusions given his move to Saudi Arabia however Southgate insisted that he has no qualms about any potential fan backlash.

He said: “We’re picking a team for football reasons. There are lots of different club ownership models. There are a lot of different players who play in countries with different religious beliefs.

“I don’t know why a player would receive an adverse reaction because of where he plays football. I’m a bit lost on the questioning really.”

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