Raheem Sterling has been left out of England’s 25-man squad for next month’s Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia while Eberechi Eze and Lewis Dunk have earned call-ups.
Sterling has struggled for form and fitness this season after moving from Manchester City to Chelsea in a £47.5 million deal last summer, registering nine goals and four assists in 37 appearances across all competitions.
Sources have told ESPN that Sterling, who has 82 caps, remains fully committed to England and his omission in June is a mutual decision based on how best to manage his body ahead of next season.
And after naming his squad at Wembley on Thursday, Southgate told a news conference: “I spoke with him a week or so ago, a general catch-up. He’s not happy physically with his condition, he’s been carrying a hamstring problem.
“He really wasn’t in consideration. We didn’t get to the point of whether he should be in or out. He doesn’t think he’s operating at the level he needs so that was the conversation I had with him.”
Eze has scored six goals in eight games for Crystal Palace as they have revived their fortunes under Roy Hodgson with Southgate; he is yet to make his senior debut but missed out on being part of England’s provisional squad for Euro 2020 after suffering an Achilles injury on the eve of the tournament.
Dunk earned his first call-up in four-and-half years after thriving at Brighton and rejoins England’s squad along with Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings, whose last cap came in March 2022 against Cote d’Ivoire.
While Nick Pope, Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount miss out through injury, Eze’s Palace teammate Sam Johnstone has been included along with Callum Wilson, selected after Ivan Toney was banned for eight months for breaking Football Association rules on betting.