Gareth Southgate has revealed he omitted Roma striker Tammy Abraham from his World Cup squad due to his ‘poor’ scoring form.
The England boss instead opted to include Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford and Callum Wilson in his 26-man squad for Qatar, which he announced on Thursday.
Abraham put himself firmly in contention to book a seat on the plane to Qatar after banging in 27 goals in his debut season in Italy last term.
But he has struggled this campaign, having found the back of the net just four times from 19 games in all competitions.
In contrast, Newcastle ace Wilson has fired in six Premier League goals from ten outings – including a double against Aston Villa last month in front of Southgate at St James’ Park.
Southgate commented on his reasoning to leave Abraham out in his squad announcement press conference.
He said: “Tammy’s had a poor run of scoring form at the wrong time, really.
“And it’s not a case of that we are three or four weeks away from a finals and the start of the first match. We are now ten days away, so form could be more important.
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“We are watching their club form, but we don’t really know where the players are until we see them face-to-face and until we see them on the training pitch.
“We get regular medical updates from their clubs but there will be medical issues that we are not completely aware of yet.
“We know the form we are seeing in the matches, but even so, you still don’t get the full picture from the players until you are able to speak to them, work with them and see how they train with each other.”
And Southgate also revealed how he didn’t speak to Wilson personally about including him prior to the squad announcement.
He did break the news to a joyous James Maddison after rumours circulated that he would miss out.
But Southgate has insisted the Foxes playmaker has been in his squad for weeks following a stunning start to the season.
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