Although the aim of players is always to feature for their country at the highest level possible and as often as possible, Mauricio Pochettino might not be too concerned with Gareth Southgate’s latest decision. The England boss named his squad for upcoming matches against Malta and North Macedonia on Thursday and there was a noticeable Chelsea absence.
Conor Gallagher and Levi Colwill were once more present but Raheem Sterling missed out for the third time in a row whilst Reece James turned down the chance due to worries of overloading his body too soon. Cole Palmer remained in the Under-21 set up with Lee Carsley.
For Pochettino this means that the chances of injury to this three, a trio that has been integral to operations so far this season, is greatly reduced. At a time of the year whereby he is finally starting to bring players back from various knocks it is a guge boost.
Read the full story, here.
Pochettino has revealed conversations he held with attacker Christopher Nkunku ahead of an eagerly awaited Chelsea debut. The Frenchman is still yet to play for the club since arriving in the summer but that is set to change.
“We had some conversation and he said to me I want to be ready for after the international break, Newcastle,” Pochettino told reporters on Friday. “I asked him yesterday [about a return] and he said ‘hmmm’ and I said you are liar!”
Chelsea player Newcastle twice in the space of three weeks after the internationals with the first game on November 25 and the second on December 19 in the Carabao Cup. It is not yet clear which of those two he is targetting but it seems that he is certainly on course to play before the end of 2023.
Read the full story and an update on Romeo Lavia, here.
Southgate’s James warning
England boss Gareth Southgate has sent Reece James a warning message that his place in the Euro 2024 squad is not assured after he turned down the chance to feature in next week’s qualifier matches. James hasn’t played for his country over over 12 months.
“I was hoping to call up Reece James but he doesn’t feel he’s quite ready,” explained Southgate on Thursday. “I understand that, he’s had a long path back from a number of injuries. He’s probably a bit cautious in that respect, but I can understand why.”
He then added later: “There is [a lot of talent ahead of James] and that’s the risk. He’s only got one more squad before the Euros. So he knows that. We’ve got belief in what he can do. We did discuss [reporting for duty to attend team meetings] and he was very keen to make clear, ‘Look I don’t want you to think I don’t want to be there’.
“We had a really good long conversation and exchange of messages after that as well. But I’m very understanding. His injury record, you can see the number of matches and the different phases. So we are all conscious that we want to have a fit Reece that can play consecutive games.
“Physical reliability is going to be really important. I think we will always manage a player as well as we can but there is a reality around his training at the moment. He plays and there’s a couple of days’ recovery.
“There’s a little bit more angst from his side. I totally get that. We would have loved to have him with us, don’t get me wrong. But I’m perfectly calm with the conversation.”.…CONTINUE.FULL.READING>>>