Former Arsenal midfielder turned pundit Paul Merson believes England manager Gareth Southgate made one big mistake while picking his most recent Three Lions squad.
England is set to take on Switzerland and the Ivory Coast in two friendlies that will serve as preparation for this summer’s 2022 Qatar World Cup.
Southgate and his coaching team are in the process of putting the finishing touches on England’s tactical plans as the country looks to come to terms with being one of the early favourites to lift the prestigious trophy.
After naming his latest 25-man squad for the Three Lions’ next two matches, Southgate shocked fans after excluding Manchester United duo Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho.
— England (@England) March 21, 2022
However, it is the latter that Merson feels should have been included.
Writing in his column for the Daily Star, the ex-Gunner said: “Gareth Southgate should have picked Jadon Sancho instead of Raheem Sterling in his England squad.
“Surely you’re better off having Sancho in the squad than Sterling? We know what Sterling can do. We know he’s going to the World Cup. Sterling always performs for England. Leave him out, he’s got big games coming up for Manchester City. And put Sancho in.”
Although Sancho’s performances are still some way off what he showed for former club Borussia Dortmund, it is obvious in that recent weeks the young attacker has enjoyed an upturn of form.
Seemingly doing well under Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick, Sancho continually finds himself included in the German’s starting 11 – for England though, not so much.
Whether or not the £76.5m rated winger can do enough between now and the end of the season to change Southgate’s mind remains to be seen, however, one thing is for sure, if Southgate does not take Sancho to Qatar, England’s attacking options can surely be considered the very best in the world.