Raheem Sterling looks unlikely to feature for the England Under-21s this summer…
England Under-21s manager Gareth Southgate has ruled out recalling Raheem Sterling to his team for this summer’s European Championships, which will take place in the Czech Republic.
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The 20-year-old Liverpool forward is eligible to feature in the tournament due to his age, but as a well-established member of Roy Hodgson’s first-team, his inclusion in Southgate’s squad would be widely frowned upon.
As the Liverpool Echo reports, Southgate is under pressure to select as strong a squad as possible. The FA are demanding a decent showing at the tournament, as the Three Lions look to make a rare splash on the international stage.
However, he’s not expecting to select Sterling. He said this week: “There is a bit of it being about what is right for the development of the player, whether we think it is an experience that will benefit them.
“Then there is whether there is a connection with the rest of the group, what the dynamic of the team is, it depends on whether we see them at first-team level.
“An example would be Raheem Sterling who we now feel is an established international and other countries have similar situations like that.
“Germany have [Julian] Draxler for example who could play, but will now be with their seniors for certain. In France, [Paul] Pogba is eligible at that age group, but he’s moved through that, every country has similar scenarios with their very top players and we’ll make a judgement call on each of those.”
The likes of Harry Kane and Ross Barkley are both expected to travel, but Sterling – who has earned 14 caps for England – is set to be excused, and won’t add to his eight appearances for the Under-21s.
Sterling has been an integral part of Liverpool’s side so far this season, scoring ten goals in all competitions. He scored his first England goal during the Euro 2016 qualifier against Lithuania last week, and will no doubt be grateful for a restful summer – having played for his country at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil the year before.