• Monday, June 17, 2024
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Euro 2024: Eze in, Grealish, Maguire out as Southgate names England squad

Eberechi Eze England

Crystal Palace’s Eberechi Eze and Adam Wharton have been selected for England’s squad for Euro 2024, while high-profile players such as Jack Grealish, Harry Maguire, and James Maddison have been left out by manager Gareth Southgate.

Eze, a winger with only three caps, impressed in the recent 3-0 friendly win over Bosnia-Herzegovina at St James’ Park. His Crystal Palace teammate, 20-year-old midfielder Wharton, also made his international debut in that match as a substitute.

Manchester City forward Grealish, Manchester United defender Maguire, and Tottenham midfielder Maddison were excluded from Southgate’s final 26-man squad, trimmed from an initial 33 players.

Grealish’s omission follows a significant dip in form during the latter part of the Premier League season, culminating in him being an unused substitute in the FA Cup final loss to Manchester United and missing out on City’s title-clinching match against West Ham. Despite featuring as a substitute in the friendly against Bosnia-Herzegovina, he did not make the cut for the tournament in Germany.

Maguire, a mainstay in Southgate’s defense, could not demonstrate his fitness due to a lingering calf injury. Similarly, Maddison’s poor form towards the end of the domestic season contributed to his exclusion.

Other players missing out include Burnley goalkeeper James Trafford, Liverpool defender Jarell Quansah, Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite, and Liverpool midfielder Curtis Jones.

In a surprise move, Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw, who has been sidelined since mid-February with a hamstring injury, has been included in the squad.

The Football Association released the squad list ahead of schedule as players who were omitted publicly shared the news of their exclusion.

Southgate acknowledged the difficult decisions, stating that the selected players had stronger performances, particularly in the latter half of the season.

“All the players took the news really respectfully,” he said. “They have that self-belief and mindset, but the fact is we have some players who have been playing extremely well in the league all season.”

England will play their final pre-tournament friendly against Iceland at Wembley on Friday, with the Euro 2024 tournament set to begin on June 14.

Despite his exclusion from the final squad, Quansah will remain with the team for the Iceland game as a precaution against further defensive injuries.