Ian Wright slams Gareth Southgate's England selection policy where 'certain players are guaranteed spots' after Jarrod Bowen, Conor Gallagher and Ben White were among a number of in-form stars to be overlooked

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Ian Wright has criticised Gareth Southgate's England selection process after a number of in-form stars were overlooked once again, with the BBC pundit claiming 'certain player are guaranteed spots'.

Southgate named his latest Three Lions squad on Thursday afternoon ahead of this month's pair of World Cup qualifiers against Albania and San Marino.

The returns of Marcus Rashford and Jude Bellingham were the headline calls while Manchester United pair Jadon Sancho and Jesse Lingard were omitted as a result of their lack of game time. 

Ian Wright has criticised the selection process of England manager Gareth Southgate

Ian Wright has criticised the selection process of England manager Gareth Southgate

Ian Wright has criticised the selection process of England manager Gareth Southgate

Wright said the likes of Jarrod Bowen and Conor Gallagher will be 'gutted' to be overlooked

Wright said the likes of Jarrod Bowen and Conor Gallagher will be 'gutted' to be overlooked

ENGLAND SQUAD 

Goalkeepers: Sam Johnstone, Jordan Pickford, Aaron Ramsdale

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ben Chilwell, Conor Coady, Reece James, Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings, Luke Shaw, John Stones, Kyle Walker

Midfielders: Jude Bellingham, Jordan Henderson, Mason Mount, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice, James Ward-Prowse

Forwards: Tammy Abraham, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling

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But there was also a host of in-form stars to be left out, with the likes of Jarrod Bowen and Conor Gallagher both still out of Southgate's thinking.

It was hoped that their good form for West Ham and Crystal Palace respectively in the Premier League would be rewarded with call-ups.

But Southgate has stuck by a number of players who are usually a part of his plans even though their form has not caught the eye of late, such as Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings and James Ward-Prowse.

Wright, the Match of the Day pundit who also analyses England games for ITV, was left frustrated by Southgate's selections and said those who thought they may have been in with a chance of a call-up will be 'gutted'.

As well as Bowen and Gallagher, Wright was perplexed that Fikayo Tomori of AC Milan lost his spot from the October squad, while West Ham's Aaron Cresswell and Ben White of Arsenal were also left out.

Wright, who won 33 England caps and scored nine goals, tweeted on Thursday: 'I've been there where form is ignored and certain players are guaranteed spots!!

'It's hard to take because there is nothing you can do. I don't know what Tomori needs to do to get in and get a chance.

'Cresswell, Bowen, White, Gallagher will all be gutted.' 

Southgate briefly touched on a couple of the players who were harshly overlooked in his press conference when announcing the squad.

West Ham forward Jarrod Bowen was in with a chance of an England call-up

On-loan Crystal Palace midfielder Conor Gallagher would also have been worthy of a call-up

Jarrod Bowen (left) and Conor Gallagher (right) have both been in red-hot form at club level

He said: 'Always difficult (to pick a squad) because we've got so much competition for places and we had quite a few players missing last time, which means you bring others in. Then you've got more decisions to make.

'Also, some young players who are playing well that haven't quite made the squad.

'So, we've kept a reasonable amount of consistency, really, with the groups that they were with in the summer. They did so well, we're only five international games on from that. But also there are players pushing that group really strongly.

Gareth Southgate stuck with a large number of his England regulars, despite their form

Gareth Southgate stuck with a large number of his England regulars, despite their form

'Emile (Smith-Rowe), Conor Gallagher, Marc Guehi, in particular are all playing well with their clubs and to put them in we'd have to leave some of these on the sheet out.' 

Rashford returns to the England squad for the first time since Euro 2020 after he had shoulder surgery following the final defeat by Italy. 

Maguire, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Reece James all returned from injury for this month's fixtures, although Kieran Trippier and Tomori dropped out.

Bellingham and Kalvin Phillips came into the midfield, while Ollie Watkins was out and Mason Greenwood was again absent.  

The Manchester United trio of Greenwood, Sancho and Lingard were the most striking omissions from Southgate's selection.

'Well, I think with Mason, I discussed the situation last time so we've been through that,' he said, having spoken of the focus on long-term development after leaving Greenwood out last month.

'With Jesse and Jadon, I mean they just aren't playing a lot of football compared to the other players in their positions.

Ben White has been a defensive rock for Arsenal but was deemed not good enough for England

Ben White has been a defensive rock for Arsenal but was deemed not good enough for England

'I know people say I'm inconsistent, but I don't think I am. If you're playing regularly for your club, you've got a much better chance of us assessing your level compared to the rest of the group. 

'Sometimes there'll be a lot of depth in one position and there might not be as much depth in another position and the player that is in the position with less depth might have a better chance of getting in with less club time.

'With these two lads (Lingard and Sancho), they've got great competition for places in the positions they play. Jesse has had 10-15 minutes. I don't know what his form is, what his fitness is, really, to be able to assess him against the rest of the group.

'Both of those boys when I spoke with them totally understood that. They get it. They know that at the moment they've got to get playing for their club and playing well and then England is a bonus on the top. But they're both players that have done well for us and I'm sure they'll be back with us.'

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