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Euro 2024: Eberechi Eze named in England squad

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Uncapped Crystal Palace midfielder Eberechi Eze has been called up for England’s Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia.

Southgate has named a 25-man squad, with Raheem Sterling the highest-profile absentee with the England manager revealing that the Chelsea attacker has been struggling with a hamstring problem and is unhappy with his current fitness levels.

Other players gone from the squad that helped kick-off England’s qualifying campaign with a 2-1 win in Italy and 2-0 home victory over Ukraine are Nick Pope, Ben Chilwell, Eric Dier, Reece James, Mason Mount and Ivan Toney.

Eze has been in superb form for Palace since the arrival of former England manager Roy Hodgson in March and has scored six goals in his last eight games as the Eagles comfortably secured their top-flight status.

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“We’ve liked him for a long time,” Southgate of the 24-year-old who has scored 10 goals in 37 Premier League games this season. “He was very unfortunate just before the Euros. We were going to call him into a prep camp and he got an injury.

“He has finished the season very strongly, he can play in a couple of positions across that front line. He has high quality and bursts of speed to go past players with those dribbling skills.”

Alexander-Arnold, meanwhile, has been playing in a more advanced position for Liverpool of late and Southgate has been impressed by his efforts.

“He is a super footballer,” Southgate added. “He is obviously playing in a slightly different role which has invigorated him in the last few months.

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“He has always been in advanced areas of the pitch with the ball. He is just a bit more central now. That’s interesting for us no question. It’s something I’ve talked to him about and we’re looking forward to working with Trent.”

Sterling, who has won 82 caps, has endured a difficult first season since joining Chelsea from Manchester City with the London club having sacked two managers in Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter before appointing Frank Lampard until the end of the campaign.

ENGLAND SQUAD

For Euro 2024 qualifers away to Malta on June 16 and at home to North Macedonia on June 19:

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Goalkeepers Johnstone, Pickford, Ramsdale.

Defenders Alexander-Arnold, Dunk, Guehi, Maguire, Mings, Shaw, Stones, Trippier, Walker.

Midfielders Bellingham, Eze, Gallagher, Henderson, Maddison, Phillips, Rice.

Forwards Foden, Grealish, Kane, Rashford, Saka, Wilson.

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