Sterling out of England squad after Gomez bust-up

Nicholas Mendola

Raheem Sterling will be left out of the England squad versus Montenegro after a bust-up with teammate Joe Gomez.

Sterling went head-to-head with the Liverpool center back on Sunday in City’s 3-1 loss to the Reds at Anfield, and couldn’t leave the tension with his club.

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The Daily Mail’s Matt Hughes and Sami Mokbel report that Sterling tried to grab Gomez by the neck at St George’s Park on Monday.

[ MORE: Liverpool 3-1 Man City ]

Ex-Liverpool winger Sterling played physical on Sunday and was confrontational on plenty of occasions, too, including a heated exchange with Gomez late in the contest.

England boss Gareth Southgate said the move comes “with the agreement of the entire squad.” Man City center back John Stones is on the Three Lions roster.

From The Daily Mail:

Sterling was sat down in the canteen when Gomez arrived and leant over from behind to shake his hand, leading him to attempt to grab his team-mate by the neck. The rest of the England players initially thought Sterling was joking, but it soon became clear that he had lost control and the pair were separated. The incident was particularly surprising to the other Liverpool players present as Sterling and Gomez had made the peace following the game at Anfield with an embrace following the final whistle.

Wild stuff, and a bad look for Sterling. He’s been England’s best player for some time, and the club is on the verge of qualifying for EURO 2020 but hasn’t achieved that goal yet.

England hosts Montenegro on Thursday and visits Kosovo on Sunday.

Where does this leave Sterling in the England set-up? He’s one of the best attackers in the world, but Southgate runs a tight ship and the Three Lions will likely qualify without him (and there are plenty of English wingers who will queue up for the job). He’ll get another chance almost surely, maybe even on Sunday, but there’s a slippery slope.


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