Football News

Gareth Southgate explains three big absences from England squad for March international break

By Ben Green

Gareth Southgate explains three big absences from England squad for March international break

Published: 14:56, 17 March 2022

Gareth Southgate has announced his latest England squad for March’s international friendlies — and there were naturally some eye-catching inclusions and omissions.

The Three Lions are in preparatory mode as football’s unprecedented winter World Cup in Qatar inches ever close, and Southgate has two key friendlies later this month against Switzerland on March 26 and Ivory Coast on March 29 to assess his latest batch of tournament hopefuls.

Given Manchester United’s current form, having been eliminated from the Champions League earlier this week and struggling to consolidate a position in the Premier League top four, it was perhaps no surprise to see Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho snubbed by Southgate.

How to get £60 in free bets*

Eligible readers interested in the 888sport betting offer can follow THIS LINK or click the image below and sign up using the code PREM60.

*A min deposit of £/€10 with promo code is required. You must bet a min of £/€10 at odds of 2.0 or greater on a sports market. £/€10 Free Bets will be credited on bet settlement & then a £/€10 Free Bet every weekend (up to 5 times) and will be valid for 7 days. Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time. General withdrawal restrictions & full T&Cs apply. 18+ only. Be Gamble Aware

Sancho has started to realise his potential at Old Trafford since making his eye-watering switch  from Borussia Dortmund in the summer, but Southgate has looked to explore options elsewhere in the attacking areas, with Emile Smith Rowe given the nod as one of his forward options.

At full-back, or more specifically right-back, where there is an abundance of talent, Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold and Chelsea’s Reece James were the preferred 2s over Kyle Walker, while Crystal Palace centre-back Marc Guehi has earned his first call-up.

“I had a chat with Kyle,” Southgate said. “We felt this was an opportunity to have a look at the two younger fullbacks. We know all there is to know about Kyle; he’s a very important player and he’ll be back with us in June.

“We are very happy with what he’s done; he’s been a huge part of the progress we’ve made with this team and you can see in the biggest matches with Manchester City this year, he’s still been a key player for them. These young fullbacks are exciting.”

Bet £10, Get £20 in Free Bets T&Cs apply

18+, UK only. Deposit and place a minimum £10 cash bet at single or accumulated odds of 1/1 or greater and we will give you 1 x £5 in free bets plus an extra 3 x £5 Free Bets the following day. Applies to first cash bet only. Free bets credited as 4 x £5 bets to use on 3x Any sport & 1x Virtuals. Cashed Out, Void or Draw No Bet wagers do not qualify for this promotion. 1 x £5 Free Bets are credited upon qualifying first bet settlement, other free bets credited by midday the day after your first bet settles. 7-day free bet expiry. Available once per customer. This offer cannot be combined with any other promotion. Full T&C’s apply.

18+ only. New UK customers only. T&Cs apply.

Claim Here
Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets T&Cs apply

18+ only. Use code BET30. New Players Only. Minimum stake $/€/£ 10, minimum odds1.5, stake not returned.1X wagering the winnings from the free bet. Wagering occurs from real balance first. Wagering requirement is calculated on bonus bets only, wagering starts from real funds. Free bet is valid for 7 Days from issue. Max conversion: $/€/£ 200. Excluded Skrill deposits. Withdrawal requests voids all active/pending bonuses. Full Terms Apply

18+ only. New customers only. T&Cs apply.

Claim Here
£20 in free bets when you place a £10 bet T&Cs apply

18+ only. £10 min. deposit required. 1 x £10 qualifying bet required. Qualifying bet must be placed on selection with min. odds of 1.8 (4/5). 4 x £5 Free Bets will be credited once the qualifying bet has been settled. 1 x Free Bet valid for any Football Match Result market. 1 x Free Bet valid on any Football Correct Score market. 1 x Free Bet valid on any Horse Racing market. 1 x Free Bet valid on any Tennis market. Free Bets valid for 7 days once credited. T&Cs apply.

18+ only. New customers only. T&Cs apply.

Claim Here

Elsewhere, West Ham fans would have been disappointed to see Jarrod Bowen’s name omitted from the squad sheet. The adventurous winger has been a key performer this season and is actually England’s most productive player in 2021/22 with 16 direct contributions to his name (eight goals, eight assists).

Only Tammy Abraham of Roma can match that feat (13 goals, three assists), and Moyes has long been advocating for his attacking catalyst to be recognised by Southgate, urging the England manager (as recently as January) to pay closer attention to events transpiring at the London Stadium.

“When you look at the competition for England; Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish, Jadon Sancho – it’s a decision for Gareth Southgate,” Moyes said recently.

“But he’s getting closer to people saying we should have a look at him and see what he can do. I don’t think he’ll be too far away, but the biggest thing is to keep playing well for West Ham.”

There was further claret and blue disappointment as fledgling midfielder Jacob Ramsey was ignored by Southgate. The 20-year-old Brummie has exploded onto the scene this term, flourishing under Steven Gerrard, and the Villa boss, like Moyes, recently backed his player for international recognition.

I know the level of England players, I’ve played with some of them, I’ve watched many of them for a lot of years. Jacob Ramsey is right up there, let me tell you,” Gerrard said after Villa’s 3-3 draw with Leeds, in which Ramsey bagged a brace.

Ultimately, Southgate still picked a fiercely competitive 25-man squad, with plenty of names to whet Three Lion appetite and get fans excited about the quadrennial World Cup, set to kick off in November.

England’s 25-man squad

Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford (Everton), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal), Nick Pope (Burnley)

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Conor Coady (Wolves), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Reece James (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Ben White (Arsenal)

Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Conor Gallagher (Crystal Palace), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Declan Rice (West Ham), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)

Forwards: Tammy Abraham (Roma), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

“You just have to look at the other attacking players in the squad; Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Phil Foden,” Southgate told reporters. “Jadon’s performances have improved at Manchester United, but it is an area where we have big competition for places.”

On Rashford’s omission, he added: “He is in the same position as everyone else, whether they are in the squad or not. They’ve all got to play well towards the end of this season and in particular at the beginning of next season. It is a difficult time for him, he’s clearly not at his best, but there is plenty of time. We know what Marcus can bring and hopefully he can rediscover the form he’s capable of.”