Southgate explains Henderson omission and hails Bowen after first England call-up

Date published: Tuesday 24th May 2022 2:44 - News Desk

England boss Gareth Southgate and Jordan Henderson

Gareth Southgate says West Ham striker Jarrod Bowen “thoroughly deserves” his first senior England call-up.

Bowen and fellow uncapped player, Leicester defender James Justin, have been included in Southgate’s squad for next month’s Nations League matches.

On Bowen’s inclusion, Southgate said: “Constantly strong performances. We were certainly thinking about involving him in March before he got injured.


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“He’s a goal threat and his direct journey is an interesting reminder that you don’t have to be at an elite academy – experience is a great route to go.

“He works incredibly hard for the team, which we want all our players to do. He thoroughly deserves his call-up.”

On his decision to leave Jordan Henderson out but include his Liverpool team-mate Trent Alexander-Arnold, Southgate added: “I was very conscious with the Champions League boys – they’ve had a remarkable season really and couldn’t have been involved with any more games.

“We’ve learnt in the last three or four years from players we’ve had involved in that match that the emotional fall out, win or lose, is very high.

“I spoke with the two lads about where they were with that and where they felt like they were with that – they are in different positions in that with their age. We’ve got good players in both positions so we’ve got cover and we felt that Henderson we didn’t need to see this summer but we wanted to see Trent with the camp.

“We gave him the option of joining late but he preferred to keep going and then leave a bit earlier.”

Roma striker Tammy Abraham and AC Milan defender Fikayo Tomori have both been called up to the latest squad with the duo benefitting from their experiences in Serie A this season.

On the pair, England boss Southgate continued: “They deserve huge credit for adapting to living abroad and a different style of football and the endeavour to learn another language and the culture to fit in with another country.

“We are watching a lot of Serie A and Bundesliga – the leagues are different levels to the Premier League. The depth isn’t the same and the intensity is very different – there is a lot more structure.

“There is a jump I think and that’s been shown in a lot of the Champions League and European fixtures. The Premier League is a great product and we’re trying to map all that when we’re assessing the players and their performances.

“Fikayo will come in with the confidence of just winning a league title and playing in front of 70,000 fans every week – that is a similar pressure to playing for England.”

 

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