England boss explains decision to leave in-form Raheem Sterling out of England squad

Despite starting the season in fine form for Chelsea, Raheem Sterling has been left out of the England squad to face Ukraine and Scotland during the forthcoming international break.

England manager Gareth Southgate has said leaving Raheem Sterling out of his England squad was a “difficult call”.

The England manager praised the Chelsea forward for starting the season well but said the competition for attacking places means he will not be involved against Ukraine and Scotland.

“It’s a difficult call and Raheem is not particularly happy about it, but I understand that,” Southgate said.

“He’s an important player for us.”

Sterling has started the Premier League season in fine form, scoring two goals in Chelsea’s first three games.