Gareth Southgate’s refusal to involve Jadon Sancho in Euro 2020 is reportedly ‘gnawing away’ at the Borussia Dortmund star.
Sancho is yet to feature for England at this summer’s tournament and is aggrieved by his omission, according to the Daily Mail.
Asked over the weekend if Sancho would feature against the Czech Republic on Tuesday, Southgate said: “We’ve got some explosive options and a lot of them are young players experiencing a big tournament for the first time.
“So as a coaching staff, we are realistic about our expectations of them as individuals. Jadon is in that mix. He’s trained well the last few days and, of course, we have got those options and those decisions to make.”
But the Daily Mail claims ‘there is no expectation’ from Sancho that he will suddenly become a key member of the team.
He’s said to be doing his best to ‘maintain his usual bubbly disposition but privately the lack of minutes and opportunity is gnawing away at him’.
He was ‘particularly aggrieved about being omitted from the 23 for the opening fixture against Croatia’.
And Rio Ferdinand is perplexed by Sancho’s lack of game time, claiming Southgate’s ‘small team mentality’ may be an explanation.
He said: “There’s inexperienced players that haven’t been to tournaments, they’re everywhere.
“You go on what they’ve done at their club and the last three years, in terms of output, he [Sancho] has been the second best player in terms of goal involvement over the last three years – and he’s done it at Dortmund.
“So to think that you’re talking about experience… he’s played more games than [Phil] Foden at the top level as well as [Mason] Mount and [Jude] Bellingham.’
“I just feel that sometimes as a manager you’ve got to be brave.
“You’ve got to be brave and don’t err on the side of caution. In Southgate’s mind he’s going to have to be brave because I think naturally he’s a more conservative person.
“In his own mind he’ll think he’s being brave when we’re sitting here going: ‘Just play him!’
“We’ve seen him play at the top level but if you’re sitting there as Gareth Southgate, you’ve got to go against your natural instinct.
“Do you know what it goes back to? It goes back to big team mentality.
“He’s coaching and setting us up like a small team mentality.
“A big team mentality manager would have gone into that game and said, ‘We’re going grab this bull by the horns, control the pace of the game, camp on the edge of their box and force them back into their half’, but we didn’t do that.”