Gareth Southgate, the manager of the England national team, has revealed the squad for the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers next month. In a surprising decision, Southgate has opted to exclude Raheem Sterling, the Chelsea forward, from the roster for the two games.
England, aiming to maintain their flawless record in Group C qualification, will face Malta and North Macedonia in their upcoming matches. Despite Sterling being a key figure for Southgate during previous qualifying campaigns and major tournaments, the 28-year-old has been left out following a challenging and disappointing season with Chelsea.
Sterling has encountered several injury setbacks and witnessed three managerial changes during his time at Chelsea. Meanwhile, his former club, Manchester City, have recently celebrated their third consecutive league title. These circumstances have seemingly impacted Sterling’s form and overall performance.
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During a recent press conference, Southgate provided insight into Sterling’s exclusion, confirming that the player himself acknowledged his suboptimal physical condition and expressed concerns about his fitness level, which fell short of the standards required to represent his country.
Reflecting on their conversation, Southgate stated, “I spoke with him a week or so ago. A general catch-up. He is not happy with his condition physically, carrying a hamstring problem. He wasn’t really in consideration. He doesn’t think he is operating at the level he needs.”
By omitting Sterling from the squad, Southgate aims to prioritize the player’s well-being and performance, taking into account his self-assessment and concerns regarding his fitness and ability to perform at the required level. It demonstrates Southgate’s commitment to fielding a squad that is in optimal physical condition and ready to deliver strong performances in the Euro 2024 qualifiers.
Gareth Southgate’s decision to exclude Raheem Sterling from the England squad for the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers stems from the player’s own acknowledgment of his below-par physical condition and concerns about his fitness level. Southgate aims to ensure that the squad comprises players operating at their peak performance, prioritizing their well-being and readiness for the important matches ahead.