England squad announcement recap: Raheem Sterling, Ben White left out as Southgate names picks for Euro 2024 qualifiers
England manager Gareth Southgate has named his squad for next month's Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia.
Brighton captain Lewis Dunk and Crystal Palace star Eberechi Eze are among the high-profile inclusions, with both players rewarded for impressive seasons at club level.
Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold is recalled to the squad, and could feature in a midfield role similar to the one he has played in for the Reds in recent months.
Chelsea star Raheem Sterling is not involved, with Southgate confirming that the forward has been carrying a hamstring injury.
Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope is also out after undergoing hand surgery, while there is no place for Chelsea's Mason Mount or Ben Chilwell. Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins hasn't seen his impressive goalscoring form rewarded with a call-up, and Arsenal defender Ben White is not named for the second consecutive time.
The Three Lions travel to face Malta on June 16 before hosting North Macedonia at Old Trafford on June 19.
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That's all from our live blog of Gareth Southgate's latest England squad selection. Thanks for joining us.
Southgate on Toney
Southgate is asked if he has spoken to Brentford star Ivan Toney in the past week, and whether he has a future with England.
Toney was banned last week for eight months for breaches of the FA's betting regulations.
Southgate said: "I have spoken with him. The ban is the ban - it is what it is. I think he recognised and accepted the punishment.
"What bothers me is we've got to look after people. He's injured at the moment - what does he do about getting fit? How do we give him some structure over the next few months so he can develop himself, or be a better person at the end of it, or have experiences that he might not experience?
"I don't like the idea that we just leave somebody that they're not allowed to be a part of the football community. I don't think that's how we should work. I don't think that's how the best rehabilitation programmes would work.
"He knows we picked him because we felt that, until there was going to be a charge, that he should be allowed to play. And when he comes back, if he plays well, we'll pick him. It [the ban] won't have any bearing.
"I think he's a resilient guy with great character, and we're here to support him."
Southgate on England U21s
Southgate is asked about whether he gave consideration to selecting any England U21 players in his squad, given that the young Three Lions are preparing for the U21 Euros.
He said: "I don't think they're quite ready to be ahead of the players we've picked, but there was a good chance that if we had problems, they [the U21 players] would be the next ones in.
"Myself and Steve Holland [assistant] will be going to that tournament to watch them. That's important. We've got some good players in there who we like, and I think it's important that they recognise, and can see from the decisions we've made, that there is a pathway here for young players.
"We've always done that, and we're excited about some of those players as well, definitely."
Southgate on Brighton, Aston Villa
Two clubs that have had excellent Premier League seasons are Brighton and Aston Villa.
The Seagulls have already qualified for Europe for the upcoming campaign, while Villa can do likewise if they beat Brighton on the final day.
Lewis Dunk and Tyrone Mings represent the two clubs in Southgate's squad, and the England boss gave his reasoning behind selecting them.
"Absolutely [they were impossible to ignore]. I think both clubs have been excellent. Unai Emery has done a brilliant job at Aston Villa - they look a really well-coached team.
"The same with Brighton. Their football has been exceptional, and Lewis Dunk and Levi Colwill [in the U21s] have been a big part of that. Dunk has shown great composure with the ball, his defending when he's asked to defend in one-on-one situations, and he thoroughly deserves his call."
Southgate on Eze
Crystal Palace star Eberechi Eze is in the squad after a superb run of form under Roy Hodgson.
He was initially called up for the provisional squad for Euro 2020, but ruptured his Achilles moments before he was due to find out, and missed the tournament.
Southgate explained: "We've liked him for a long time. It was very unfortunate that just before the Euros, when we were going to call him into a prep camp to have a look at him, he got a bad injury the day we were going to tell him.
"He has finished the season really strongly. He can play in a couple of positions across that attacking line, he's got nice ability and speed to go past people, and take people out of the game with dribbling skills.
"We're looking forward to seeing him a bit closer. Everyone I speak to talks brilliantly about him as a person as well."
Southgate on Sterling
Raheem Sterling is one of the headline names not included by Southgate for this squad - and the Three Lions boss has explained why.
Speaking to Sky Sports' Rob Dorsett, he says: "He's not happy with his physical condition - he's been carrying a hamstring problem. He really wasn't in consideration.
"We didn't get to the point of whether he should be in or whether he should be out. He doesn't think he's operating at the level he needs, so that's the conversation we had with him."
England squad announced
The England squad is here - and there are plenty of notable inclusions/omissions.
As reported earlier on by The Times, both Nick Pope (injured) and Raheem Sterling are out. Brighton captain Lewis Dunk is in, along with Crystal Palace duo Eberechi Eze and Sam Johnstone.
Newcastle's Callum Wilson is back in the squad after missing the previous selection - but there is no place for Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins.
Squad announcement coming up
Gareth Southgate will be in front of the media in just under 10 minutes after confirming his England squad - we'll have the full announcement and his reaction as we get it.
Could Gibbs-White be in?
Another player that has the opportunity of getting into Southgate's squad is Nottingham Forest's Morgan Gibbs-White.
The midfielder put in a typically tireless performance in the 1-0 win over Arsenal on Saturday, covering every blade of grass and setting up Taiwo Awoniyi for Forest's goal.
On Monday Night Football, Jamie Carragher named Gibbs-White as his Premier League signing of the season, and urged Southgate to consider selecting him today.
Sterling 'could be omitted'
The Times also report that Chelsea forward Raheem Sterling could be a high-profile name excluded by Gareth Southgate when he names his squad at 2pm.
Sterling joined the Blues from Manchester City last summer, but has not enjoyed the success he would have hoped thus far at Stamford Bridge.
He did net a brace against Nottingham Forest earlier in May, but those were his first goals in two months - and his six goals for the season may not be enough to retain his England place.
Pope set to miss out
There is set to be one notable absentee from today's squad - Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope.
That's according to The Times, who report that the 30-year-old has undergone surgery on a long-standing hand problem and will not be involved in the England squad. Fortunately for the Magpies, however, he is expected to return in time for pre-season.
Who could be called up?
One beneficiary of a change of role for Stones could be Brighton captain Lewis Dunk, who has had a superb season for the Seagulls this season.
Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings - a regular feature in England squads in recent years, but never a regular starter - is also a contender to regain his place, having found top form again under the management of Unai Emery.
His Villa team-mate, Ollie Watkins, scored five goals in five matches after missing out on the previous international squad, and could also be recalled.
There are other potential call-ups, too, with some perhaps more likely than others. Newcastle’s Callum Wilson has 18 goals for the season, whilst Crystal Palace’s Eberechi Eze is in the form of his career at Selhurst Park.
Liverpool’s Curtis Jones - fresh off scoring a brace at Leicester last week - could be a wildcard option, while Arsenal’s Ben White could also be involved after not being named in an England squad since the World Cup.
Southgate's big decisions
Gareth Southgate’s England squad selection may have something of a different feel surrounding it.
Today's picks may well give us an indication of how the Three Lions boss could set up against Malta and North Macedonia - with a change in system perhaps on the cards.
John Stones, for instance, may be listed as a defender, but he could play an inverted role similar to one he plays at Manchester City.
The same goes for right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, who could play in a more advanced midfield role like he has done under Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool in recent months.
Those decisions could open the door for other players to force their way into the squad.
Hello and welcome to our live blog for Gareth Southgate's upcoming England squad selection for friendlies against Malta and North Macedonia.
We'll give you all the lowdown before the squad gets announced at 2pm UK time.
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