Gareth Southgate sends message to Chelsea star Raheem Sterling after latest England snub
Sterling has been left out of the last five England squads.
The Chelsea star has scored four goals and provided two assists for the Blues this season but there was no room for him in the Three Lions squad for final European Championship qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia.
The 28-year-old has now missed the last five international camps since last year’s World Cup in Qatar. Southgate insists there has been no breakdown in his relationship with the player who once figured so prominently in his England side, but sees no reason so change up his current attacking options.
‘The door is 100 per cent open, not only for Raheem but other players that aren’t in the squad,’ Southgate said on Thursday.
‘We don’t need to know about his quality and personality. He’s a crucial part of why we’ve had the journey we’ve had over the last few years.
‘The squad is playing really well and we had an exceptional win against Italy last time out. Who do we leave out?
‘No [the relationship hasn’t broken down]. He wasn’t available in March or June. We started on a good run and the performance in June were excellent so we’ve stuck with that group. We’ve deliberately not made many changes.
‘Raheem looks invigorated but really pleased with the team.’
Southgate continued: ‘I’m not looking to send a message [to Sterling], it’s an area of the pitch where we have as much competition as anywhere.
‘You look at Jarrod Bowen, seven goals this season, Anthony Gordon is playing very well at Newcastle, Cole Palmer is starting to play well.
‘It’s a changing landscape there. When we first started, we didn’t really have any depth of wingers to play with wingers there.
‘We had Adam Lallana who was a different type of player, we had Marcus Rashford and Raheem, but without the ability to refresh the team – that’s why we played with wing-backs for a long period going into Russia.
‘We now have a lot more depth there, probably more than any other position. I understand the questions, but that’s where we are.’
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