Gareth Southgate reveals why he dropped Chelsea star Raheem Sterling from Senegal clash

December 4th, 2022 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Reports have emerged as to why England manager Gareth Southgate dropped Chelsea forward Raheem Sterling from the starting line-up against Senegal on Sunday night.

In his place is Phil Foden, while Bukayo Saka has been brought back into the starting XI for the last-16 clash.

This is a blow for Raheem Sterling who was pushing for a place after failing to feature in the 3-0 win over Wales.

Sterling pulled out due to a family matter, the FA revealed on Sunday evening.

That is hard for Marcus Rashford, who has scored three times this tournament including two against Wales.

Football fans will be pleased that Foden kept his place for the Senegal game.

Saka started the first two games and was a fresh option for England as they looked to reach the quarter-finals.

Southgate was expecting a tough game but believed England’s attacking would be be too much for the AFCON champions.

England conceded just twice in the group stage and they came in the opening game against Iran.

Speaking about Sterling before the match, he told ITV: “He’s dealing with a family matter so I’ve had quite a bit of time with him this morning but I’ve now had to pass that on to other people to help him with that.”

When asked how he is and whether he will be staying with the squad if England beat Senegal, the England boss added: “Well, he’s going to go and deal with that matter and then we’ll have to take it from there really.”

Discussing selecting Saka over Rashford, he said: “He [Saka] was excellent in our first two matches. We think Marcus was also very good and it’s great to have him to be able to come into the game as it opens up.

“We’ve of course got an embarrassment of riches in that area of the pitch but we’ve liked Bukayo’s performances and we think Phil and him deserve their opportunity.”

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