England boss Gareth Southgate opens up on Jesse Lingard’s omission

Lingard has been in scintillating form in the second half of the season but failed to make the cut in the final squad for Euro 2020.

Jesse Lingard celebrates his goal against Leicester City; Credit: Premier League Twitter

England head coach Gareth Southgate explains the reason behind Jesse Lingard’s omission from England’s final squad for the Euro 2020. The attacking midfielder has been in scintillating form in the second half of the season with West Ham United after joining on loan from Manchester United last January. As a result, he was recalled to the national team for March’s World Cup qualification triple-header. The 28-year-old played a part in all those matches. He was then included in the 33-man provisional squad as well.

But Southgate hinted that Lingard played in the March matches due to the absence of the injured Jack Grealish and Jadon Sancho. “Jesse has done incredibly well to get back in the race,” said Southgate. “Going back to January he was a million miles from being selectable for an England squad. I said in March he’d had a fabulous few weeks but you’d have to say he was a little fortunate because we were without four wide players at that time.

“He had a good spell with West Ham and is a player who has played so well for us. We have total trust in the way he plays. He’s reliable, a great member of the group. He’ll play tomorrow (Wednesday) because Sancho is ill and we’ve got a lot of players unavailable. For the balance of the team, he’ll start. He deserves that opportunity to go and show me that I’m wrong straight away.”

Maguire a doubt for opener

Southgate is not sure that Harry Maguire might be fit for England’s Euro 2020 opener against Croatia on June 13. Maguire, who missed the last few matches for Manchester United, was named in the 26-man squad despite being sidelined with an ankle ligament injury.

“We know exactly where he’s at,” Southgate said on Maguire’s fitness. “Our medical team have been over with him in Manchester. He’s not travelled to us yet because of quarantine issues coming back from Poland. That was a bit more complicated. He’s got a bit to do, like Jordan Henderson, to be available.

“But we feel the possibility that they can play a part, and the fact they’re such fantastic characters to have around the group… Hendo’s leadership and presence is already having an effect on other people, especially the younger ones in the group, but all of the others as well. Given we’re able to pick 26, we felt the opportunity to have those two with us was straightforward.”

Southgate admitted that it is going to be “tight” for Maguire to be ready for the Croatia match. “It is going to be tight for the first game, there is no question. He is such a good player and because we had the additional size of squad, we wanted to take that opportunity to bring him into the squad,” he added.

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