Gareth Southgate explains Rooney and Trippier squad decisions

Thursday 25 May 2017
Gareth Southgate's side will take on Scotland and France in June

England boss Gareth Southgate has explained his reasons for leaving Wayne Rooney out of the Three Lions squad for the matches against Scotland and France.

The Manchester United captain, who has scored seven goals in 42 appearances this season, missed the last three internationals through injury.

England take on Scotland in a World Cup qualifier in Glasgow on Saturday 10 June, when they will be wearing all-red to avoid a kit clash with the hosts, before facing Les Bleus in Saint-Denis three days later.

Scotland v England
  • 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier
  • 5pm BST, Saturday 10 June
  • Hampden Park, Glasgow
Southgate said: “We have a lot of players playing exceptionally well in the area of the pitch that Wayne plays.

“I said last time [in March] that he was a bit short of matches – he’s had some matches now but we’ve got players that have done really, really well for us in Adam Lallana and Dele Alli.

“We’ve got Marcus Rashford, Harry Kane coming back and Jermain Defoe who did really well for us last time while Jamie Vardy’s been in excellent form in the second half of the season.

“I can’t dress it up any other way. Other players are in really good form and deserve to keep their place.”

When asked what this meant for Rooney’s international future, Southgate added: “I’ve showed that, by selecting Jermain Defoe at 34, if players are playing well and the moment’s right then we will involve them in the squad.

“You never write off a player of Wayne’s quality and I’m sure that, next season, he’ll be back to playing. He’s finished the season a bit better and I’m sure he’ll take that into next year.”

France v England
  • An International Match
  • 8pm BST, Tuesday 13 June
  • Stade de France, Saint-Denis
Southgate handed right-back Kieran Trippier his maiden senior team call-up after the 26-year-old impressed for Champions League-bound Tottenham in recent weeks.

Southgate said: “He’s a player that I’ve watched a lot, from when he was at Burnley.

“He has had limited game time at Spurs but he fits the profile of a full-back that we like – he’s very good with the ball and I like his mentality.

“He’s a player we wanted to bring in so he gets a feel for how we work, and it’s a good opportunity for us to look at him.

“He and Kyle [Walker] will have been pushing each other every day and, in my opinion, they along with Nathaniel Clyne are the three best right-backs in the country.”

By FA Staff