Southgate calls up Eze and Dunk for England in Euros

·2-min read

Eberechi Eze has received his first call-up and Lewis Dunk is back four-and-a-half years after his only cap as Gareth Southgate named his England squad for June's Euro 2024 qualifiers.

Having kicked off Euro 2024 qualification with wins over Italy and Ukraine, England's group C campaign continues with next month's double header against Malta and North Macedonia.

Southgate has named a 25-man squad, with Eric Dier and Raheem Sterling the high-profile absentees and Crystal Palace attacking midfielder Eze the only uncapped player in the group.

Brighton captain Dunk returns for the first time since making his debut against the United States in November 2018.

Callum Wilson, Tyrone Mings, Sam Johnstone and Trent Alexander-Arnold also return to the fold.

Sterling, who has won 82 caps, has endured a difficult first season since joining Chelsea from Manchester City.

A representative for the forward said: "Following a private conversation between coach and player, a mutual decision has been made for Raheem Sterling to sit out the upcoming internationals, focusing instead on recuperating his body in preparation for the upcoming season."

Southgate revealed Sterling's absence was largely down to fitness issues rather than form.

The England manager said at a press conference: "I spoke with him a week or so ago - a general catch-up.

"He's not happy physically with his condition, having been carrying a hamstring problem. He really wasn't in consideration.

"We didn't get to the point of whether he should be in or out. He doesn't think he is operating at the level he needs."

Southgate said he was looking forward to working with Eze.

He said: "We have liked him for a long time. I think he has finished the season really strongly. He can play in a couple of positions across the attacking line.

"He is a goal threat, he's got nice ability and speed to go past people and can take people out of the game with his dribbling skills. We are looking forward to seeing him a bit closer."

Southgate has been impressed by Alexander-Arnold, who has been playing in a more advanced position for Liverpool of late.

Southgate said: "He is a super footballer. He is obviously playing in a slightly different role which has invigorated him in the last few months.

"He has always been in advanced areas of the pitch with the ball. He is just a bit more central now.

"That's interesting for us - no question. It's something I've talked to him about and we're looking forward to working with Trent."