Southgate on chance of Leverkusen winger’s shock call

Matt Stead

Gareth Southgate admits that Leon Bailey is “somebody we’ll monitor more closely” after it emerged he was eligible for England selection.

Southgate was said to be considering a shock call-up for Bayer Leverkusen winger Bailey, who has represented Jamaica at youth levels.

The 20-year-old is eligible for England selection due to two of his grandparents holding British passports, while Germany are also thought to be monitoring his potential availability.

Bailey was not named in Southgate’s most recent squad, indicating that a call-up for the 2018 World Cup is unlikely, but the England manager did state that the winger could be considered in the future.

“Well, I’d have to say until a few months ago we had no indication that he was eligible for England,” Southgate said.

“That’s still a process that is ongoing and now that issue has been flagged, he’s somebody we’ll monitor more closely.

“But that’s more for our talent identification department at this stage than it is for my selection in the short term.”