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Gareth Southgate Shuts World Cup Door On One England Star

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Gareth Southgate Shuts World Cup Door On One England Star

Gareth Southgate is far from knowing exactly who will be in his 23 man squad for the World Cup in Russia this summer but he knows one big name who certainly won't be going after closing the door on his chances.

If you need any evidence that Southgate still doesn't know who will be going to Russia you need look no further than the goalkeepers with the England manager picking four stoppers for the friendlies against Netherlands and Italy next week.

It's not too much better in front of the goalkeeper either. Southgate seems hell bent on playing three centre backs with Harry Maguire and John Stones almost certain to fill two of the positions but the third place is anyone's guess.

Check out Gazza's Ultimate England XI:

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And even the midfield is a minefield. Eric Dier, Jordan Henderson and Dele Alli look the most likely but behind them Jack Wilshere, Jake Livermore, Lewis Cook, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Adam Lallana, Jack Cork, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Fabian Delph, Harry Winks and Nathaniel Chalobah have all been lining up.

You could probably throw a blanket over all of them such is the small difference in quality for most, and those considered better still have their flaws.

But one midfielder who definitely won't be going is Ross Barkley. Southgate ruled him out of the World Cup, whether he recovers from injury or not, saying:

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"I think he's just not been fit. He went to Chelsea on the back of a long-term hamstring injury, quite a serious one, and has had only had a couple of matches really.

"He's not available for selection now anyway, so he's unfortunate in the way that has played out in this year in particular. But if he can get back playing and playing regularly I'm sure, post-summer, we will look again.

"It's going to be difficult for him I think to get the number of games he needs now for the World Cup. But we know he's a talented player."

Playing time has been limited for Barkley and once again he's injured. Image: PA Images
Playing time has been limited for Barkley and once again he's injured. Image: PA Images
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That mention of looking at him post World Cup certainly makes it sound like there's no way Barkley can get in the plans for the tournament, even if the England boss then did keep the door slightly open by saying it would be 'difficult'.

Barkley's England career has been very stop-start due to form and injuries but he has been to both of the last two tournaments although the Three Lions have been failures and neither trip was a success for the former Everton man.

He got some playing time at the World Cup in Brazil four years ago, coming on as a sub in one game and playing the full 90 minutes against Costa Rica but he didn't play a single minute in France two years later.

Can Barkley make England's squad for 2020?

Topics: Football News, Russia 2018, Chelsea, Ross Barkley, England, Gareth Southgate, World Cup

Ryan Sidle
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