Premier League

Gareth Southgate culls first England player from Euro 2024 squad

James Maddison

James Maddison has become the first England player to be culled from Gareth Southgate’s squad for Euro 2024.

The Tottenham Hotspur midfielder was included in the Three Lions’ preliminary 33-player squad and played 29 minutes of the 3-0 victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday night.

However, Southgate has to trim his squad down to 26 stars before the deadline on Friday and The Athletic were the first to reveal the departure of Maddison, who left the squad on Wednesday after being informed of the decision.

The ex-Leicester City star made a blistering beginning to life at Spurs, helping them to their best start to a top-flight season in more than 60 years, but a significant ankle injury left him sidelined for a few months and he then struggled for consistency upon his return.

Jude Bellingham is likely to feature in Maddison’s preferred central attacking midfield position for England over the summer, while the omission will also improve the chances of Eberechi Eze, Jack Grealish and Jarrod Bowen making the final cut.

James Maddison

Maddison has been cut from the England squad / Richard Sellers/Allstar/GettyImages

Maddison’s exit was confirmed on Thursday in a statement which also revealed the departure of Liverpool midfielder Curtis Jones.

Five more players from the preliminary squad will be left out when England’s final selection is confirmed. One of the four goalkeepers will be cut, while defenders like Jarrad Branthwaite, Jarell Quansah, Ezri Konsa, Joe Gomez and Lewis Dunk will all be nervously awaiting the final verdict.

Crystal Palace midfielder Adam Wharton is said to have impressed Southgate and his coaching team during his first international camp, while speculation has suggested only one of Ollie Watkins or Ivan Toney will travel to Germany as a striker alternative to captain Harry Kane.

Following their win over Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Three Lions face Iceland on Friday night in their final pre-Euro 2024 friendly. A more familiar lineup is expected, with Bellingham likely to start alongside Kane, Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden in attack.

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