Southgate’s Grealish decision is last throw of the dice

Ahead of England’s friendly against Iceland on Friday night, Gareth Southgate has made his decision on who will be part of his Euro 2024 squad and who won’t.

The expected names are all in there. Messrs. Kane, Bellingham, Foden, Rice and Saka are all in there, and in many respects the starting XI picks itself.

It would normally have included Harry Maguire were it not for an injury which rules the Man United centre-back out.

Southgate’s Grealish omission is last throw of the dice

The other players that have missed out on a seat on the plane to Germany are; James Maddison, Jarrad Branthwaite, James Trafford, Curtis Jones, Jarrell Quansah and Jack Grealish.

Whilst there are valid enough reasons for Branthwaite, Trafford, Jones and Quansah not to travel, and Maddison’s injury-hit season and associated loss of form offers Southgate a reasonable excuse not to pick him, the choice to leave Grealish behind is an odd one. A gamble. The last throw of the dice.

Gareth Southgate hasn’t picked Jack Grealish for England’s Euro 2024 squad

It’s ostensibly true that England are blessed with some amazing attacking talent for the tournament. A European Championship where they are rightly amongst the favourites.

Even if Southgate considered that Grealish hadn’t done enough to be considered as part of the starting XI, he’s surely a worthwhile bet as a substitute when a game needs unlocking.

Notoriously slow starters at tournaments in any event, the Man City ace has the ability to turn a game if required.

No longer seen as a ‘maverick’ type player, he might’ve lost the ability to drift past players and get to the byline, but as he showed in the most recent game against Bosnia, he still has the ability to spot a pass – in that game to Trent Alexander-Arnold, who scored – and that could be invaluable in Germany.

Southgate will live or die by the decisions he’s made, and he’ll be hoping that they don’t come back to bite him.

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