Gareth Southgate claims loss of form led to Tammy Abraham's World Cup omission
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Gareth Southgate has explained the absence of Tammy Abraham from England's World Cup squad, claiming his lack of form is to blame.
On Thursday afternoon, Southgate announced the 26 players who he would be leading to Qatar in just five days time, with the World Cup kicking off for them just six days later.
Names such as Harry Kane, Declan Rice, Raheem Sterling and Jordan Pickford were always going to be named by the England boss but he did spring a couple of surprises.
The groundswell of opinion that James Maddison should be included has clearly been heard by Southgate, who has decided to take the Leicester City talisman to the Middle East.
One area of contention was always going to be which strikers the 2018 semi finalists took as back up to Kane, with Callum Wilson and Marcus Rashford eventually given the nod.
That meant Ivan Toney and Tammy Abraham being left behind, despite both being in the most recent squad, and Abraham being included in every squad for this year's Nations League.
Now Southgate has explained the Roma forward's omission from his final 26, saying that the former Chelsea star 'lost form at the wrong time.'
🗣 "Form could be more important."— Football Daily (@footballdaily) November 10, 2022
Gareth Southgate on selecting Callum Wilson over Tammy Abraham in the England squad pic.twitter.com/PaCRLQZz47
"Tammy's had a poor run of scoring form at the wrong time really," the manager said in his press conference for the announcement.
"And it's not a case where we're three or four weeks away from the finals and the first match - we're now 10 days so form could be more important."
Abraham moved to Italy at the beginning of last season and had a great debut campaign in Serie A, scoring 17 times, breaking a record for an Englishman in the league, and helping the team win the Europa Conference League.
However, things haven't gone as well for him at the start of this term, and he has only scored three times in the opening 14 matches for Jose Mourinho's side.
Wilson, who has had his share of injuries in the past, by contrast has been in excellent form and scored six times in 10 games in the Premier League, including three in the previous three.
The 30-year-old, who has only played for the Three Lions on four occasions in the past, has absolutely hit form at the right time.
However, fans will point to the contradictions in Southgate's reasoning behind leaving Abraham out, with other players not in form included.
Harry Maguire is the player most fans have commented about, especially with Abraham's fellow Serie A star Fikayo Tomori not included in the squad, despite winning the league with AC Milan last season.
In midfield, the involvement of duo Connor Gallagher and Kalvin Phillips at the World Cup has been criticised, due to their lack of form or game time.
Phillips has only played twice for Manchester City since his summer move from Leeds United, first through selection and latterly due to an injury he's only just returned from.
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Topics: England, Gareth Southgate, Qatar, Football World Cup, Tammy Abraham, Callum Wilson, AS Roma, Serie A