Chris Sutton says Raheem Sterling should play for England

Raheem Sterling should have been called up to the England squad ahead of Marcus Rashford, says Chris Sutton on Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off’ as he questions Gareth Southgate’s selection policy

  • Raheem Sterling was left out of the England squad last week 
  • Gareth Southgate said the door ‘remains open’ for the Chelsea forward
  • What’s the story with Raheem Sterling? Listen to It’s All Kicking Off 

Chris Sutton believes Raheem Sterling should have been included in England’s squad for the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers over Marcus Rashford.

The Chelsea forward’s exile continued last week, when Gareth Southgate omitted him from the squad for the games against Malta at Wembley on Friday and away against North Macedonia the following Monday.

Sterling has scored 20 goals in 82 caps for England, but hasn’t played for the national team since last year’s World Cup quarter-final defeat by France, when he came off the bench.

He was injured for the opening Euro 2024 qualifiers in March but hasn’t been able to regain his England place in the four subsequent squads. 

Cole Palmer was called up as a replacement for the injured James Maddison on Monday and Sutton suggested Sterling should have joined his Chelsea team-mate. 

Raheem Sterling has been left out of Gareth Southgate’s latest England squad 

The Chelsea attacker scored in the Blues’ 4-4 draw against Manchester City on Sunday

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‘[Southgate] should have gone for Sterling,’ Sutton said on the latest episode of Mail Sport’s It’s All Kicking Off! podcast with Ian Ladyman.

‘How is Marcus Rashford in the England squad ahead of Raheem Sterling based on this season’s performances?’

Sterling’s goal in Chelsea’s thrilling 4-4 draw against Manchester City on Sunday was his fourth goal in 12 Premier League games this season and his fifth in 14 appearances in all competitions.

Rashford, in contrast, has scored just one goal in 16 appearances in all competitions, but scored in England’s 3-1 win over Italy last month as the Three Lions secured their place at Euro 2024.

Southgate explained on Thursday that he wanted continuity in his team, which had been performing well in assuring Euro 2024 qualification with two games to spare.

Asked about Sterling’s absence, he said: ‘The team are playing really well, we had an exceptional win here against Italy last time around. Who do we leave out to bring him in?’

‘The door is 100 per cent open. There is no doubt about that. In terms of his quality and personality. He is crucial part of the journey we have had.

‘We have stuck with that group, and deliberately not made changes. It is fair to the guys in the squad.’

Chris Sutton believes Sterling should have been selected ahead of Marcus Rashford

The Manchester United striker has scored just one goal this season and has struggled for form

Southgate also insisted he was not concerned by Rashford’s poor form for United this season.

‘We are really happy with him, he scores goals and he enjoys his football with us. For me there’s nothing to discuss,’ he said.

Sutton isn’t alone in suggesting Sterling can feel hard done by after being overlooked by Southgate.

Jamie Carragher believes the Chelsea forward ‘had a case’ to be included in the England squad for the upcoming qualifiers.

‘Sterling has been brilliant. There’s no doubt he’ll be disappointed he is not in the England squad. I think he has a case,’ he said on Sky Sports after Chelsea’s draw against City on Sunday.

Gareth Southgate has insisted the door remains 100 per cent open for Sterling 

Rio Ferdinand echoed his former England team-mate’s thoughts, urging Southgate to ‘free Sterling’ and recall the Chelsea forward.

‘I don’t know what he’s done, whose nose he has put out of join. I don’t know what’s happened.

‘But for him to not be in the England squad is beyond me. 

‘Listen, there’s a lot of talent don’t get me wrong, but if we’re talking form then he’s got more goals and assists or goal involvements than Rashford and [Jack] Grealish put together.’


It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify.

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