Gareth Southgate has revealed that Raheem Sterling is ‘not particularly happy’ about being left out of his latest England squad.
However talkSPORT understands Sterling respects the decision and will continue to focus on his domestic form.
The Chelsea forward has enjoyed a strong start to the new season under Mauricio Pochettino starring in their opening two fixtures against Liverpool and West Ham.
That was then followed up by a superb display against Luton with the 28-year-old scoring an impressive brace helping the Blues to a 3-0 win at Stamford Bridge.
With the season just three games old, Southgate has been tasked with naming a squad for the Euro 2024 qualifier against Ukraine and a friendly against Scotland.
But with Eberechi Eze and James Maddison both continuing to impress alongside England regulars Jack Grealish, Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford, the Three Lions’ boss revealed that there simply wasn’t room for Sterling in his latest selection.
Explaining the decision, Southgate said: “We were really pleased with the group.
“To bring Raheem back in we’d have to leave someone else out and on the back of three games I didn’t think that anybody in this group of attacking players warrant being left out.
“It’s really good to see Raheem start the season so well. He looks in good condition, he looks hungry and is obviously an important player for us and has been an important player for us but in those attacking areas behind the nine we have a lot of competition for places.
“All of those players have started the season well and the group that are with us have certainly done well in recent games.”
Asked about Sterling missing out for a third squad in a row, Southgate said: “But he wasn’t available for the last two and obviously that’s given other people the opportunity to play well and to establish themselves in the group.
“It’s a difficult call and Raheem’s not particularly happy about it, but I understand that because he’s an important player for us and I’m convinced that he’s going to have an excellent season with Chelsea, there’s no doubt about that.”
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