Chelsea forward Raheem Sterling and Arsenal defender Ben White have been told they might have to accept that they may not play for England again under boss Gareth Southgate.
Both Sterling and White have been in good form this season but have been left out in the cold by Southgate since they separately left the Qatar World Cup squad for personal reasons last December.
Sterling, in particular, had been a bedrock of Southgate’s success with only Harry Kane being awarded more caps since he took charge in 2016.
But former England midfielder Ray Parlour, a victim of Southgate’s ruthlessness when he played under him at Middlesbrough for a joke at Southgate’s expense, and also under Glenn Hoddle for England, believes the proven pair can forget about going to next summer’s Euros.
The Arsenal invincible said: “Raheem can’t play any better than he has been for Chelsea, so it looks like that that ship might have sailed. It is a situation where sometimes you do fall out.
“Ben White is another one. I can’t believe he’s not in the squad. I don’t know what’s happened behind the scenes, whether they fell out, or he said I don’t want to play for England anymore, or whatever.
“I am sure Gareth has made his mind up to say, ‘those two guys might not play for England again.’
“You’ve just got to accept it. As a player, I did the same when Glenn Hoddle was manager, and I said the wrong thing to Eileen Drewery.
“I had to wait for him to get sacked to get back into the squad again. It might be the same with those two guys. Who knows? The thing at Middlesbrough was just a joke that is behind us now. I was near the end of my contract there but it did mean I left sooner than planned.”
Parlour, speaking as an ambassador for NetBet Sports Betting – might not agree with Southgate’s stance, but understand his methods as he tipped England to go all the way in Germany next summer.
“You have got to be ruthless at times,” he added. “You must have your morals and your way of doing things. It still looks like a very happy squad.
“Gareth is fortunate that he still he still has a lot of options up front in wide areas. There is Jack Grealish, Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka, Jarrod Bowen and others.
“Then he has a lot of midfielders who can play wide and get forward too. Look at Mason Mount – suddenly he is not involved too. It just shows you the depth of options he has when picking his squads.
“Gareth has set high standards and most England supporters have got used to those standards. With the squad he has got they should certainly be getting to the final and be favourites to win the Euros, alongside France.
“You are not going to have a better England squad for me. I know defensively you can argue we are probably a little short, but you will not see a better attack going forward. Now he’s got to get the right balance. He’s got to get the right team.”