Eberechi Eze of Crystal Palace has been called up to the England squad for the first time for the Euro 2024 qualifiers.
Eberechi Eze has been called up for the first time to the England squad for the Euro 2024 qualifiers next month, but Raheem Sterling has been left out.
Eze, a Crystal Palace midfielder, has been named after scoring six goals in his last eight Premier League games.
Chelsea forward Sterling is out due to a mutual decision reached with manager Gareth Southgate.
England will play Malta at Ta’ Qali on June 16 before facing North Macedonia three days later at Old Trafford.
The Three Lions lead Group C after defeating Italy and Ukraine in their first two qualifying matches in March.
Southgate explained his decision to keep Sterling out, saying, “He is not happy with his physical condition, carrying a hamstring problem.” He wasn’t actually taken into account.
“He does not believe he is performing at the level required.”
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Tyrone Mings, and Lewis Dunk have been called up as well.
Dunk, whose sole prior cap came against the United States in 2018, rejoins the squad after helping Brighton qualify for Europe for the first time in club history.
Chelsea trio Reece James, Mason Mount, and Ben Chilwell are out injured, as are Arsenal’s Ben White, Tottenham’s Eric Dier, Everton’s Conor Coady, and AC Milan’s Fikayo Tomori.
Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope is also absent due to a hand injury, with Crystal Palace’s Sam Johnstone being called up for the first time since March 2022 as his replacement.
Manchester City’s quintet of John Stones, Kyle Walker, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, and Kalvin Phillips are included but will arrive late due to their involvement in the Champions League final against Inter Milan on June 10.
The same is true for West Ham captain Declan Rice, who will face Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League final on June 7th.
Brentford striker Ivan Toney, who made his debut against Ukraine in March, is unavailable due to an eight-month ban for violating Football Association betting rules.
Eze is rewarded with his excellent performance.
Eze, who has U20 and U21 caps, has been called up after spearheading Crystal Palace’s dramatic turnaround in results under manager Roy Hodgson, with the Eagles winning five and drawing two of their nine matches under the former England manager to allay any lingering Premier League relegation fears.
The 24-year-old, who is also eligible to play for Nigeria, was anticipated to be included to England’s provisional 33-man Euro 2020 squad two years ago but sustained an Achilles injury on the same day the roster was announced.
“We’ve liked him for a long time,” Southgate explained. “He was unlucky just before the Euros. We were planning to call him into a training camp, but he got hurt.
“He finished the season very well; he can play a couple of positions on that front line.” He possesses outstanding talent and bursts of speed to get past defenders with his dribbling abilities.”
Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold returns to the team after impressing in a midfield role for the Reds in recent weeks, and Southgate admits he might use him in a similar role.
“He’s a fantastic footballer who is playing in a slightly different role,” Southgate remarked. “With the ball, he has always been in advanced areas; he is just a little more central now.” It’s intriguing for us, and it’s an idea I’ve discussed with him in recent weeks. We are excited to collaborate with Trent.”
Short grey line for presentation
Sam Johnstone (Crystal Palace), Jordan Pickford (Everton), and Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal) are the goalkeepers.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Lewis Dunk (Brighton & Hove Albion), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United), and Kyle Walker (Manchester City) are the defenders.
Midfielders: Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham, Crystal Palace’s Eberechi Eze, Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher, Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson, Manchester City’s Kalvin Phillips, and West Ham United’s Declan Rice.
Forwards: Manchester City’s Phil Foden, Manchester City’s Jack Grealish, Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane, Leicester City’s James Maddison, Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka, and Newcastle United’s Callum Wilson.