Carragher reveals ‘harsh’ Southgate decision with two-horse race for England, Euros place underway

Jason Soutar
Chelsea's Cole Palmer celebrates his goal with Raheem Sterling.
Cole Palmer celebrates his goal with Raheem Sterling.

Jamie Carragher thinks it is “a little bit harsh” that Chelsea playmaker Cole Palmer received a senior England call-up before Newcastle United’s Anthony Gordon.

Palmer’s impressive start to the season with the Blues earned him a late call-up to the England squad for this month’s international break.

He was brought into the team by Gareth Southgate after a few players – including Jude Bellingham – backed out due to injury.

The former Manchester City youngster appeared in both Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia while Gordon sat at home watching.

Both players helped England Under-21s win the European Championships in the summer and it is fair to say the latter helped a little bit more.

The Newcastle winger was named Player of the Tournament after scoring twice and providing an assist while playing through the middle under Lee Carsley.

While he was a crucial player for Carsley and has started the season very well for Newcastle, providing eight goal contributions in the Premier League, Gordon did not earn his maiden senior cap this month.

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Palmer has impressed since joining Chelsea from City in August and his call-up was well-earned, but former England defender Carragher thinks it’s “a little bit harsh” he was able to play for the Three Lions before Gordon.

Carragher added that is likely to be a “toss-up” between the two players for the Euros in Germany next year, with Palmer’s Blues teammate Raheem Sterling unlikely to be recalled.

“Cole Palmer was in the last squad and he has been outstanding since he has gone to Chelsea,” Carragher on Monday Night Football.

“But if you go back to the summer where this great form for Gordon started, you probably go back to the Under-21 tournament in the summer where England won the tournament, he was the best player and Cole Palmer was actually on the bench.

“In some ways, Palmer has overtaken him in terms of getting into the England squad, which is maybe a little bit harsh, but for me, if he continues to how he is going, I think it could be a toss-up between him and Cole Palmer.

“For whatever reason, Raheem Sterling feels like he is not going to get back into the squad, again he’s been outstanding, but the options for England on that left-hand side shows the quality.”

Southgate has lots of options in that position. Despite his poor form this term, Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford will probably be in the Euros squad.

Elsewhere, you have Manchester City duo Jack Grealish and Phil Foden.

Speaking during the international break, Southgate admitted that Gordon is close to earning his first England call-up.

He said: “He’s a good player. He was very good with our Under-21s last year. He’s very close, I have to say.

“I like his attitude, I like the way he works so hard for the team.

“Of course, I’m sure he was hoping to get a call at this moment, but there are good players playing well in that position on the field.

“But I think, like a couple of others, they’ve always got to think a little bit further ahead as to, you know, opportunities that can come up.

“I think for somebody like Anthony that’s eminently possible with us.”

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