England boss Gareth Southgate explains Raheem Sterling snub with Chelsea star 'not particularly happy'

England Gareth Southgate

England boss Gareth Southgate is looking ahead to Ukraine and Scotland matches

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 31/08/2023

- 14:15

Updated: 31/08/2023

- 15:30

The Three Lions are preparing for upcoming matches against Ukraine and Scotland

England boss Gareth Southgate has opened up on his decision to omit Raheem Sterling from his latest squad.

The Chelsea star has been a player reborn so far this season, scoring two goals from three Premier League appearances.

However, Sterling has surprisingly been left out as England prepare for upcoming matches against Ukraine and Scotland.

Southgate has gone with Sam Johnstone, Jordan Pickford and Aaron Ramsdale as his goalkeepers.

Raheem Sterling Chelsea

Raheem Sterling has impressed for Chelsea but failed to make Gareth Southgate's England squad


In defence, Ben Chilwell, Levi Colwill, Lewis Dunk, Marc Guehi, Harry Maguire, Fikayo Tomori, Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker make the cut.

Midfielders consist of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jude Bellingham, Conor Gallagher, Jordan Henderson, Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice.

And, up top, Southgate has named Eberechi Eze, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Harry Kane, James Maddison, Eddie Nketiah, Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Callum Wilson.

Now, speaking at a press conference, Southgate elaborated on his decision to omit Sterling.

"I didn't want to leave any attacking players out," said the England boss.

"A lot of competition for places in that area behind the nine.

"Really happy to see him do well for Chelsea, but everyone has started the season well.

"Raheem's not particularly happy with that."

On the decision to pick Nketiah and Colwill amid their fine displays for Arsenal and Chelsea, he added: "Two young players who are doing very well.

"They have done well with our junior teams. Levi had time with us in the summer.

"I didn't want to move away from our squads at Old Trafford [earlier this summer]. It's only been three games into the season.

"Eddie is coming in because it is an area where we would like to look at him.

"He has a good pedigree, is a very good finisher, record goalscorer with Under-21s and is a player we are really interested in."

Southgate was also quizzed on Manchester United striker Mason Greenwood and whether he could ever play international football again.

Charges were dropped against the striker back in February but the Red Devils, after an internal investigation, have announced he will resume his career away from Old Trafford.

And Southgate admitted picking Greenwood wasn't something currently on his mind.

"It is clearly a very complex case. At the moment he isn't playing football so it isn't a consideration for us," he said.

Some are unhappy with Southgate's squad selection, however.

Harry Maguire is down in Erik ten Hag's pecking order at Manchester United, while the same can be said for Manchester City's Kalvin Phillips.

Both players have been picked despite their lack of game time, though.

Kalvin Phillips England

Kalvin Phillips has been named in the England squad despite struggling for action at Man City


And Southgate has explained his controversial calls.

On Phillips, he said: "Giving some less experienced players in the squad.

"Tyrone Mings is out for the season, John Stones is out for this camp. Conor Coady is out playing in the Championship now.

"Declan Rice was the only English player at the weekend to play in a single pivot. Kalvin is the next best option."

On Maguire, he added: "It's not a good situation that those guys aren't playing football, but in some areas we have depth. In others we don't."


The England boss has also defended his decision to pick Jordan Henderson as well, with the Al-Ettifaq star criticised by the LGBT community for opting to play in the Middle East.

"I think we are supportive of the LGBTQ+ community. A large number of the team and staff have relatives or friends from the community," he said.

"I can only talk on a personal level. I will try to be accepting of everyone's cultures. It's not intentional that we would let down any of our fans but these are complex issues that we're all trying to navigate."

He continued: "We're picking a team for football reasons. There are lots of different club ownership models. There are a lot of different players who play in countries with different religious beliefs.

"I don't know why a player would receive an adverse reaction because of where he plays football. I'm a bit lost on the questioning really."

You may like