Gareth Southgate has dropped Raheem Sterling and Trent Alexander-Arnold for his latest England squad but included Ivan Toney despite the Brentford striker awaiting the outcome of a Football Association (FA) in to alleged betting breaches.
Southgate named a 25-man squad on Thursday for Euro 2024 qualifiers away to Italy and at home against Ukraine later this month.
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Sterling’s omission is a surprise given he was a key player in England’s run to the final of Euro 2020 but he started just two of the Three Lions’ five matches at last year’s World Cup in Qatar.
The Chelsea winger was given special dispensation to fly home after a break-in at his house but returned for December’s quarterfinal defeat to France.
Alexander-Arnold has been left out after an indifferent season for Liverpool having never entirely convinced Southgate throughout his England career.
Sources have told ESPN that Toney, uncapped at senior international level, has admitted some of the 262 alleged breached of betting rules and is therefore facing a lengthy ban. However, the hearing is yet to take place and Toney is protesting his innocence in some of the individual cases.
Elsewhere, Ben White was left out despite enjoying a fine campaign with Premier League leaders Arsenal. The defender left the camp prematurely at the World Cup with the FA citing “personal reasons” but on Wednesday Gunners boss Mikel Arteta insisted White was available for selection.
Newcastle striker Callum Wilson was left out but Crystal Palace‘s Marc Guehi earned a recall. Meanwhile, Conor Coady has been dropped from the squad while Reece James, who missed the World Cup through injury, returns.