The head coach of the Three Lions of England, Gareth Southgate has included out-of-favour Manchester United defender Harry Maguire in his September international break squad but left out Chelsea’s Raheem Sterling.
Raheem Sterling who struggled at Chelsea last season is enjoying a superb start to the 2023-2023 Premier League season under coach Mauricio Pochettino.
Sterling has started Chelsea’s first three games and gave a very good account of himself in the three games including in their 3-1 defeat to West Ham United.
The 28-year-old left-winger has scored two goals in three Premier League games for Chelsea which goes to show how improved he has become so far.
Despite that, Sterling who made England’s 2022 FIFA World Cup squad, didn’t make a squad that has a place for Maguire and 33-year-old Jordan Henderson who left Liverpool for Al-Ettifaq in the Saudi Pro League this summer.
“He (Sterling) was not available for the last two and of course that has given other people the opportunity to play well and establish themselves in the group,” said Southgate.
“It is a difficult call and Raheem isn’t particularly happy about it – I’m convinced he will have a good season at Chelsea, I do not doubt that.”
On his decision to invite Maguire, a 30-year-old center-back who was on the verge of joining West Ham earlier this summer due to lack of game time at Manchester United, coach Southgate said, “We have lost a lot of experienced players with caps at center-half.
“We are allowing some less experienced players to come into the squad but unfortunately it looks like Tyrone is out for the season, Stones is out for this camp, Eric Dier hasn’t been in the Tottenham squad.
“There is a space there and I think for these two games it is important we have some experience in that place of the pitch.”
Below is coach Gareth Southgate’s full squad for the September international break
Goalkeepers: Sam Johnstone (Crystal Palace), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)
Defenders: Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Levi Colwill (Chelsea), Lewis Dunk (Brighton & Hove Albion), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City)
Midfielders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Al-Ettifaq), Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City), Declan Rice (Arsenal)
Forwards: Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Bayern Munich), James Maddison (Tottenham), Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Callum Wilson (Newcastle United)
Coach Gareth Southgate is expected to use this squad to execute the Euro qualifiers against Ukraine on September 9, and a friendly game against Scotland on September 12.