Southgate DENIES falling out with Raheem Sterling amid England sub

Gareth Southgate DENIES falling out with Raheem Sterling and insists competition for places is to blame…after leaving the Chelsea star out of his last FIVE England squad’s

  • Sterling hasn’t played for England since last year’s World Cup quarter-final
  • Chelsea winger has now missed five consecutive England squads this year
  • Chris Sutton: ‘How my son nearly died’ – Listen to It’s All Kicking Off podcast

Gareth Southgate has denied the accusation that a breakdown in his relationship with Raheem Sterling is responsible for the Chelsea forward’s omission from the England squad. 

Despite being in improved form, Southgate has opted to overlook Sterling for a fifth consecutive time, instead selecting the likes of Jarrod Bowen, Phil Foden, Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka. 

Having featured so prominently for the England manager during his seven-year spell, the 28-year-old’s absence has raised previously unthinkable questions about whether Sterling will make the Three Lions squad for next summer’s European Championships. 

Speaking after the announcement of his roster for games against Malta and North Macedonia, Southgate dismissed speculation that a rift was to blame for Sterling’s absence. And instead highlighted the quality within the team that makes it difficult for the former Manchester City star to force his way back in. 

‘The door is 100 per cent open not only for Raheem but also other players who aren’t in this squad.’ He said. ‘We don’t need to know about his quality, his personality. He is a crucial part of the journey we’ve been on.

Gareth Southgate denied the accusation that a breakdown in his relationship with Sterling was responsible for the winger’s continued absence from the England squad

Raheem Sterling has been left out of the England squad once again – it is now four squads missed when the Chelsea attacker has been fit 

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Sterling last featured for the Three Lions in the quarter-finals of the World Cup against France

‘It’s an area of the pitch where we have as much competition as anywhere. Bowen has started the season well. Anthony Gordon and Cole Palmer are doing well. It’s a changing landscape there. 

‘We used to not have wingers, that’s why we used wing-backs in Russia. We have a lot of depth in those areas now, that’s what people need to understand.’

Sterling has earned 55 of his 82 England caps under Southgate, with only Harry Kane, Harry Maguire, Jordan Pickford, Kyle Walker and John Stones featuring more. 

After next week’s EURO qualifying matches, Southgate has just one more squad announcement before making his final selections for the summer tournament in Germany. 

Sterling’s last game for England was the World Cup quarter-final defeat to France last December. 

England squad in full 

Goalkeepers: Sam Johnstone, Jordan Pickford, Aaron Ramsdale

Defenders: Levi Colwill, Lewis Dunk, Marc Guehi, Harry Maguire, Fikayo Tomori, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker

Midfielders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jude Bellingham, Conor Gallagher, Jordan Henderson, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice

Forwards: Jarrod Bowen, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Harry Kane, James Maddison, Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, Ollie Watkins, Callum Wilson


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