Southgate explains why he did not select Mason Greenwood in England squad

England manager Gareth Southgate has selected his first squad since Euro 2020.

Four Manchester United players have been included; Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Jesse Lingard and Jadon Sancho.

Lingard has been included despite not starting a Premier League game yet this season.

Meanwhile, Mason Greenwood has not been included despite scoring in both matches so far.

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Why isn’t Greenwood in the England squad?

Southgate was asked that question at his press conference after naming the squad and said: “Mason is in our thoughts.

“We’re all aligned, Mason, the club, his family and us. The best thing for him after these first few games is to stay with his club.

“It’s clear on his performances he’d warrant being in the squad.”

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Greenwood has struggled to establish himself as an England player.

He was called up for the first squad of last season and made his debut against Iceland.

But him and Phil Foden were sent home early amid controversy over breaching the Covid bubble.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suggested after the event that he didn’t want Greenwood in that England squad because he needed a rest.

It seems England have taken that on board this time around and have agreed with United that the best thing for Greenwood is not to be included this time around.

Greenwood was in the preliminary squad for Euro 2020, but pulled out before the final party was confirmed with injury.

That’s in contrast with Shaw, Maguire and Marcus Rashford, who played through injuries to be part of the summer tournament.

England’s loss looks set to be United’s gain and should help Greenwood maintain his flying 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.