Gareth Southgate has explained why Mason Greenwood and Callum Hudson-Odoi absences from the England squad ahead of this month’s international break.
Greenwood and Hudson-Odoi are notable omissions from the Three Lions’ set-up following the announcement of Southgate’s latest squad, with the former having not featured for England since being sent home for breaching Covid guidelines following his debut against Iceland in September 2020.
Greenwood was, however, named in England’s provisional squad ahead of Euro 2020 and Southgate has revealed a decision has been made with the 20-year-old and his family to take a patient approach with his international career.
“In September, [FA technical director] John McDermott and myself went to United and had a good chat with Mason and his family and we agreed we would park this until next year.
“Greenwood is young enough that there is time.
“He wants to play for England, he is clear about that. It’s not that he doesn’t want to be with us.”
Southgate was seemingly less impressed with the decision of Callum Hudson-Odoi, who turned down the opportunity to join the England u21 side after failing to win a call-up to the senior squad.
Hudson-Odoi has made three appearances for the senior side but none since 2019, but has chosen to remain with Chelsea as he seeks to establish himself in Thomas Tuchel’s plans at Stamford Bridge.
Southgate has questioned the winger’s decision, believing his international ambitions would be best served developing in the younger set-up.
“He feels he would be best served staking a case for the team with Chelsea,” said the England boss. “I think he has a better chance of impressing us if he is with the Under 21s as well, frankly.”
Southgate also spoke on Jadon Sancho and Jesse Lingard, with both players omitted from the squad for November’s World Cup qualifiers after indifferent starts to the season at Manchester United.
The England boss insisted that the Three Lions will continue to support the pair, but says each will need to secure regular first-team football if they are to remain a part of his plans.
“We can support and back them, but you cannot do that forever.
“There has to be a point where you say: we have to bring in players who are playing regularly. There is no point carrying lads if we don’t think we can use them.
“He (Sancho) has a challenge at the moment, but I am sure that will be a short-term thing. He will be able to force his way back in.”