Trent Alexander-Arnold's form has been called into question this season amid Liverpool's troubles

England squad: Ivan Toney gets call-up for Euro 2024 qualifiers but Raheem Sterling misses – Sky Sports

Ivan Toney has been called up by England, but Raheem Sterling, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ben White have all been left out for this month’s Euro 2024 qualifiers against Italy and Ukraine.

Brentford striker Toney – who has not been capped by England – is the third top scorer in the Premier League with 16 goals, although he could face a long-term ban in the near future for alleged breaches of the FA’s betting rules.

But Gareth Southgate said there was no basis for not choosing the striker, saying: “The fact is Ivan is available for his club. There has been no trial or judgment yet so I don’t know on what basis we wouldn’t choose him .

March matches in England

  • Italy (A) – Qualifying match Euro 2024, Thursday 23 March, kick-off at 7.45 pm
  • Ukraine (H) – Euro 2024 qualifier, Sunday 26 March, kick off at 5pm

“He plays very well. I like his presence in games and he deserves his chance.”

Sterling – who missed out on Chelsea’s win over Leicester last weekend – played in three of England’s five games at the World Cup in December but was not involved in the last-16 victory over Senegal after being flown home following a break-in at his home.

Southgate confirmed that the striker is currently unavailable, saying: “Sterling is not fit. We would have selected him if he had been available.”

Alexander-Arnold is dropped from the squad after just one appearance in Qatar as he struggles to form at Liverpool.

Trent Alexander-Arnold’s form has been called into question amid Liverpool’s struggles

White’s absence comes after he left England’s World Cup camp early due to unexplained circumstances. Unlike Sterling, he did not rejoin his teammates in Qatar.

“With white it’s actually similar to Alexander-Arnold,” explains Southgate. “The three guys who play as right back are just ahead of those two. We are blessed with a lot of talent in that position.

“Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier were the ones who played in the World Cup and Reece James coming back is another top player. We would like to have that depth in every position on the pitch, actually.”

Callum Wilson, who went to the World Cup but only scored once for Newcastle since October, and Conor Coady, who was an unused substitute in the World Cup and lost his place at Everton under Sean Dyche, are the other omissions from Southgate’s most recent side.

In addition to Toney, the manager has recalled Ben Chilwell, who has not played for England since November 2021, but is back playing regularly for Chelsea after a series of injuries.

Ben Chilwell is 15/8 with Sky Bet to post two or more shots against Leicester
Ben Chilwell starts regularly for Chelsea after regaining his form and fitness

Chilwell’s Blues teammate James returns to the field after missing the World Cup through injury, while Crystal Palace defender Marc Guehi has been called up for the first time since September.

Southgate have included Harry Maguire in their squad despite the Manchester United captain struggling for minutes at his club, while Kalvin Phillips – who has not started a Premier League game for Manchester City since his summer transfer – has also been retained.

Phillips’ fellow townsman Walker is part of the roster, even though it emerged this month that police are investigating allegations that the defender unmasked himself in a bar.

“It’s a complicated situation,” Southgate said. “I have spoken to him for a long time. The fact is that he is back at his club at the moment and there is no conclusive evidence to keep him out at this stage.

Who is in? Who’s out?

Players were called up who were not in the World Cup squad: Ivan Toney, Ben Chilwell, Reece James, Marc Guehi

Omitted players who were part of the World Cup squad: Raheem Sterling, Ben White, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Callum Wilson, Conor Coady

“I have to be careful about being the moral judge of things. We feel we want him with us – it’s the right thing to do – and we also know that when you’re an England international there’s an even higher bar to how you behave and what is expected of you.

“I don’t think we take these decisions lightly.”

Mason Mount’s struggles at Chelsea have not stopped him from keeping his place in England. The midfielder has struggled for form and fitness in recent weeks amid a reported contract deadlock with the club, while also losing his place in Southgate’s Qatar XI.

However, Mount is part of the 25-man squad, alongside fellow Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher, who did not make the field in the World Cup, nor in Graham Potter’s regular line-up at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea's Mason Mount during the Premier League game at the City Ground, Nottingham.  Photo date: Sunday, January 1, 2023.
Mason Mount failed to score in 2023 and has struggled with form and fitness lately

James Maddison also retains his place in the England squad despite not seeing action in the World Cup, but there is no recall for Ollie Watkins, who has scored six goals in his last seven Aston Villa games.

James Ward-Prowse – the midfielder spearheading Southampton’s battle against relegation – is also left out, as is Jadon Sancho, who is starting to regain his form at Manchester United but has not been called up by any club since October 2021 England.

Solly March and Lewis Dunk, who excel at Brighton under Roberto De Zerbi, and Rico Lewis, who is enjoying a breakthrough year at Manchester City, also failed to make the cut.

Gareth Southgate
England’s last appearance under Gareth Southgate was the 2-1 defeat to France in the quarter-finals of the World Cup in December

England’s first matches since losing to France in the quarter-finals of the World Cup will be against Italy on Thursday 23 March in Naples and against Ukraine on Sunday 26 March at Wembley.

They mark the start of the Euro 2024 qualifying campaign, which will be held in Germany. England is in Group C, which also includes North Macedonia and Malta.

The journey from England to Naples is a daunting one as they haven’t won in Italy since 1961, as Roberto Mancini’s side defeated Southgate’s side on penalties in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley.

England’s 25-man squad

Keepers: Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope, Aaron Ramsdale

Defenders: Ben Chilwell, Eric Dier, Marc Guehi, Reece James, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker

Midfielders: Jude Bellingham, Conor Gallagher, Jordan Henderson, James Maddison, Mason Mount, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice

Forward: Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, Ivan Toney

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