Gareth Southgate insisted he ‘made the decision in the best interests of all parties’ after reversing his decision to include Harry Maguire in England’s squad to face Iceland and Denmark next month following his guilty verdict for assault and bribery towards Greek police while in Mykonos.
Maguire, 27, was still awaiting verdict when Southgate initially named his squad earlier in the day on Tuesday.
But in light of the guilty verdict, which brought a 21-month suspended sentence for the Manchester United captain, Southgate opted to remove Maguire from his squad.
‘In light of this evening’s developments, I can confirm I have withdrawn Harry Maguire from the England squad for the matches against Iceland and Denmark,’ Southgate said.
Harry Maguire has been withdrawn from the England squad for next month’s Nations League games after he was found guilty of assaulting and bribing Greek police in Mykonos
Maguire’s inclusion had been in doubt after he was charged with assault while on holiday
It is reported that Maguire was taunted in Mykonos before getting involved in an altercation
Maguire was on holiday in Greece with friends and family, including his younger sister Daisy
England boss Gareth Southgate initially opted to stick with his centre-back despite everything
ENGLAND SQUAD FOR UPCOMING NATIONS LEAGUE MATCHES
Goalkeepers: Henderson, Pickford, Pope.
Defenders: Alexander-Arnold, Dier, Gomez, Keane, Mings, Trippier, Walker.
Midfielders: Rice, Phillips, Winks, Ward-Prowse, Foden, Mount.
Forwards: Abraham, Greenwood, Sancho, Rashford, Ings, Kane, Sterling.
‘As I said earlier today, I reserved the right to review the situation.
‘Having spoken to Manchester United and the player, I have made the decision in the best interests of all parties and with consideration of the impact on our preparations for the next week.’
As Sportsmail reported on Tuesday morning, Maguire wanted to be considered for selection and England boss Southgate was minded to call up his under-fire central defender despite the Manchester United skipper’s court case in Greece on Tuesday.
Southgate indeed included Maguire but following the verdict in Syros, he was withdrawn.
Speaking prior to the verdict, Southgate accepted it was a difficult decision over whether to select Maguire.
‘Yes it is clearly a decision that is not straightforward and a decision that in the end I could only take on the information I have,’ the England manager told a press conference.
‘I have spoken with Harry, I have the insight to the story which is very different to what is being recorded. You can only make decisions on facts you are aware of.
‘If facts or information changes I will have to review that decision, but I have a fantastic relationship with the boy, he has been a fantastic character for us – he has my support at this moment.
‘I’m not going to get into hypotheticals of what might happen, but I have got to reserve the right to review if further information becomes available.
‘You always make decisions to the best of your ability given the information you have. People may agree or disagree with those decisions, but it is a position where every manger finds himself.
‘Harry regrets the fact he has brought that sort of focus and attention to the team – he apologised for that – but also has his own side of the story.’
Southgate said it was a difficult decision over Maguire but he eventually opted to axe him
Elsewhere, Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips has been handed his first call-up by Southgate following a string of impressive displays in his club’s promotion season.
‘I am over the moon. It is massive news for me, the club and my family. I am grateful for the opportunity,’ Phillips said after his inclusion.
‘My agent rang me and said Southgate had been in touch and he wanted to speak to me. He rang me on my way to training and I was very nervous.
‘I don’t think I expected to get into the England squad this early in the season, maybe I got lucky I don’t know. I am obviously a very happy person.’
Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips has been included in the England squad for the first time
He played an integral role for Leeds United as they won Premier League promotion last season
As expected, Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood have been handed their maiden call-ups by the England manager, while Kyle Walker has been handed a recall.
However, Jack Grealish has been overlooked again despite his excellent form for Aston Villa last season.
Grealish infamously flouted isolation rules during lockdown which may have had an influence on Southgate’s decision, although Walker did too but is still in the squad.
Raheem Sterling has been named in the squad after testing negative for Covid-19 having attended Usain Bolt’s recent birthday party in Jamaica. The Olympic legend is now self-isolating having tested positive for the virus.
There is also no James Maddison while John Stones, who has become a bit-part player at Manchester City, has also been omitted.
Danny Ings has earned a recall, as has Eric Dier after winning his place back at Tottenham under Jose Mourinho.
Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ross Barkley, Ben Chilwell and Luke Shaw are all absent due to injuries.
Despite inspiring Aston Villa in their relegation fight, there is no place for Jack Grealish
Rising stars Phil Foden (left) and Mason Greenwood have both been called up for the first time