Gareth Southgate had no qualms snubbing Luke Shaw for the Nations League finals squad, with the England manager telling Manchester United’s player of the Year that he has slipped down the pecking order.
There were not many surprises in the 27-man squad for next month’s inaugural finals in Portugal.
One-cap Nathan Redmond’s recall was the most eye-catching inclusion, while Shaw was the most conspicuous absentee just a week after being crowned Player of the Year by United fans and team-mates.
Southgate was at Old Trafford for Sunday’s season-ending 2-0 Premier League humiliation to Cardiff, but the left-back was not in the matchday squad and missed the chance to press his case for a call-up.
Asked if omitting the left-back was a difficult decision, Southgate: “No, I think Ben Chilwell and Danny Rose have been excellent.
“So, at the moment they’re ahead and they’ve played particularly well for us.
“They’ve been completely committed to the England shirt and really given everything for the England shirt over the last period of time, and they’re two very good players.
“So, there’s high competition for places in lots of positions, but – that one in particular – we’re blessed with really good options.”
Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard are the only United representatives in England’s squad.
Eyebrows were raised in March when the latter played for his club days after being left out of the squad through injury, but Southgate downplayed suggestions of an issue.
“We knew that Jesse had played the previous game and he wasn’t happy with the hamstring,” the England boss added.
“I think at some point across the few years I’ve been involved, every player at some point or other has pretty much had a situation like that.
“If that becomes a consistent thing then that’s more of a concern, but Jesse has played well for us in the past.
“I think he’d be the first to say he’s had a difficult end to the season and he has got an opportunity now to put that behind him and really attack this period with us and finish the season on a high.”