Southgate explains Greenwood's absence from England squad

Manchester United starlet Mason Greenwood has once again been left out of the England squad.

Gareth Southgate said the decision last month was not about Greenwood’s form and he has said similar again this time around.

Borussia Dortmund teenager Jude Bellingham has also been rested for the games against Andorra and Hungary.

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“They don’t come as a pair, but they’re both similar situations, in that they’re young players with a heavy load at the moment,” said Southgate when asked about Greenwood and Bellingham at the press conference which followed the announcement of the squad.


“I’ve spoken with both of the players. These lads are still physically growing so when we speak about player development, we’ve got to be really careful with them, making sure we make the right decisions.”

“They can both be exciting players for England for the future but we don’t want to overload them. They’re very much decisions which have been taken with me having conversations with the players and their families.

“Rather than any sort of deals we’ve done with the clubs. We have very good relationships with both clubs and have spoken to them about the situations but it’s not a ‘deal’.

“It’s not that we don’t think the players don’t deserve to be in the squad. We’d be picking them if we didn’t have those long-term aims and ambitions in mind.”

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The Mail reported last week that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer asked Southgate to delay Greenwood’s international return. 

Solskjaer apparently believes Greenwood’s international career needs to be handled with care, after the way his only previous England camp ended.

In September 2020, he was sent home early from Iceland amid controversy along with Phil Foden.

Greenwood then pulled out of the Euro 2020 preliminary squad through injury and hasn’t been called up since.

England have previously overhyped and overplayed wonderkids like Greenwood in the past so a change of approach is refreshing.

It’s clear his omission is nothing to do with his club form and rather a case of trying to do what’s best for Greenwood and his development.

For that, Southgate should be applauded for a common sense decision, taken with input from all the relevant parties as Greenwood looks to continue his strong start to the season.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.