Why has Raheem Sterling been left out of the England squad? Gareth Southgate explains Chelsea star's absence for start of Euro 2024 qualifying

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Gareth Southgate has explained why Raheem Sterling does not feature among the 25 players called up for England's latest European qualifiers.
  • Sterling back to form for Chelsea
  • Not in 25-man England squad
  • Southgate explains due to injury

WHAT HAPPENED? The Chelsea man has enjoyed a sort of mini-resurgence since returning from a hamstring injury in early February, and scored a vital goal in the Blues' win over Borussia Dortmund to help them progress to the Champions League last-eight a week ago. However, Southgate has elected not to call Sterling up for England's upcoming matches against Italy and Ukraine as their road to Euro 2024 begins, although the Three Lions boss revealed that this decision wasn't based on form.

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WHAT THEY SAID: When asked about Sterling's exclusion, Southgate explained: "Raheem is not fit, so that’s that. Yes, absolutely (I would have selected him if he was fit)."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: While there is no room for Sterling in England's opening two qualifiers, a number of his Chelsea team-mates did make the cut. Reece James and Ben Chilwell were recalled after they missed the World Cup through injury, while Conor Gallagher and Mason Mount keep their places from Qatar, despite the latter being absent from the Blues' last three matches due to a pelvis problem. There was also room for in-form Brentford striker Ivan Toney, although Arsenal's Ben White missed out.


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Raheem Sterling England World Cup 2022

Raheem Sterling Chelsea Manchester City Premier League 2022-23

gareth Southgate England 2022

WHAT NEXT? England's European qualifiers get underway on March 23, when Southgate's side face Italy at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona in what will be a repeat of the Euro 2020 final.