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Gareth Southgate explains England squad picks as Eddie Nketiah and Kalvin Phillips included but Raheem Sterling left out

Marcus Chan

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Gareth Southgate explains England squad picks as Eddie Nketiah and Kalvin Phillips included but Raheem Sterling left out

Gareth Southgate has explained his decisions after his latest England squad received heavy criticism.

Ahead of next month’s international break where England will take on Scotland and Ukraine, Southgate has named his 26-man squad.

There were some controversial decisions within the squad as the likes of Raheem Sterling and James Ward Prowse were missing.

Whilst Kalvin Phillips and Harry Maguire, who have barely featured for their clubs were included in the squad.

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There were also surprise inclusions for Jordan Henderson and Eddie Nketiah.

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On Sterling, Southgate said: “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 continued: “He was not available for the last two and that's given other people the opportunity to play well and establish themselves.”

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

Speaking about Phillips, Southgate said: “With Kalvin [Phillips], it's not ideal he's not playing football. Declan Rice was the only England player to start at weekend as a single pivot. Kalvin is the next best to do that. Other players can do it but it's not their best position…”

The Three Lions boss then touched on Maguire, who is yet to play for Manchester United this season, he said: "It's not a good situation that those guys aren't playing football, but in some areas we have depth. In others we don't."

On Nketiah, the England boss said: "Eddie is coming in because it is an area where we would like to look at him. He has a good pedigree, is a very good finisher, record goalscorer with Under-21s and is a player we are really interested in."

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When asked if he is worried about fans’ reaction to Henderson after his decision to go to Saudi Arabia, Southgate 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.”

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: England, Gareth Southgate, Football

Marcus Chan
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