Southgate on England squad surprises: ‘We could not ignore what these young players have been doing’

Gareth Southgate says it was impossible to ignore the form of some of the younger players in his England squad following some surprise omissions from the group which will travel to Germany.

Jack Grealish and James Maddison have both been left out of the final 26-man squad alongside Jarrad Branthwaite, Curtis Jones, Jarrell Quansah, James Trafford and Harry Maguire – who has been ruled out through injury.

It means there are many new faces in the squad who are set to compete at their first major international tournament – such as Adam Wharton, Kobbie Mainoo, Anthony Gordon and Cole Palmer.

And after announcing his squad, Southgate said: “You’re trying to balance experience, where we’ve got I think 11 players who have been to three tournaments or more, with younger players who are playing so well that we can’t ignore what they’re doing.

“Sometimes you regenerate the group more than you were expecting a couple of months ago but that’s going to and has already brought a hunger, a competitiveness. The key now is we have to bond as a group.

“They’ve done unbelievably well in a lot of cases to push some experienced players out of the squad.”

On the decision to leave out both Maddison and Grealish, Southgate added: “The fact is we’ve got some players who have been playing extremely well all season in the league and we just thought other players have had stronger seasons, particularly in the last six months or so.

“I think we saw some fantastic performances that underlined some of that and in the attacking area in particular we are blessed with a lot of options. They’ve been tough calls.”

Watch Southgate’s full press conference here:


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