has revealed that winger is out of ’s latest squad due to fitness issues.
England play Malta and North Macedonia in their Euro 2024 qualifiers next month but Sterling will play no part in either fixture.
The 28-year-old has struggled for form since his £47.5 million move from Manchester City to Chelsea last summer but Southgate claims the winger has been hampered by a hamstring problem in recent weeks.
When asked about Sterling’s omission, Southgate said: ‘I spoke with him a week or so ago, a general catch-up.
‘He is not happy with his condition physically, he’s been carrying a hamstring problem.
‘He wasn’t really in consideration, so we didn’t get to the point of whether he should be in, whether he should be out.
‘He doesn’t think he is operating at the level he needs, so that was the conversation I had with him.’
ENGLAND SQUAD FOR EURO 2024 QUALIFIERS IN JUNE
GOALKEEPERS: Jordan Pickford, Aaron Ramsdale, Sam Johnstone
DEFENDERS: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Lewis Dunk, Marc Guehi, Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings, Luke Shaw, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker
MIDFIELDERS: Jude Bellingham, Eberechi Eze, Conor Gallagher, Jordan Henderson, James Maddison, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice
FORWARDS: Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, Callum Wilson
Southgate also criticised the Football Association’s decision to .
‘I have spoken with him,’ Southgate said.
‘The ban is the ban, it is what it is. I think he recognised and accepted the punishment.
‘What bothers me is we’ve got to look after people. He’s injured at the moment – what does he do about getting fit? How do we give him a structure over the next few months that he can develop himself or be a better person at the end of it?
‘I don’t like the idea that we just leave somebody, that they’re not allowed to be a part of the football community, I don’t think that’s how we should work and I don’t think that’s how the best rehabilitation programmes would work.
‘He knows that we picked him because we felt until there was a charge, he should be allowed to play, and when he comes back, if he plays well, we’ll pick him. It won’t have any bearing, but I think he’ll have additional motivation through what he’s experiencing. I think he’s a resilient guy with great character and we’re here to support him.’
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