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Rio Ferdinand has urged Raheem Sterling and James Ward-Prowse to retire from the England national team following what he perceives as disrespect from England manager Gareth Southgate.
Ward-Prowse, who recently joined West Ham from Southampton for a reported fee of £30 million, has been in excellent form for his new club.
However, he has not been included in the England squad for the upcoming matches against Ukraine and Scotland.
Sterling, who has also started the 2023/24 campaign well with Chelsea, was another surprise omission.
Ferdinand, speaking on his Vibe with Five podcast, expressed his disappointment with Southgate’s selection. He particularly highlighted Sterling, stating,
“If I was Sterling, I’d be very disappointed bearing in mind what he’s done for this England team when he’s been in or around it. If you’re going by the yardstick that Gareth’s using with the likes of Maguire and Phillips, why is it all right for them to get in and not him? Sterling’s probably been the main bright spark at Chelsea. It’s just nuts. I’d retire. If I’m someone like Ward-Prowse, I’d just retire.”
Despite the absence of Sterling and Ward-Prowse, Southgate opted for some familiar names in his squad.
However, there were also surprising inclusions, such as Kalvin Phillips, who has only played six minutes of football in the Premier League this season.
The England FA confirmed that Jack Grealish and Trent Alexander-Arnold had withdrawn from the squad due to injury, but Southgate decided against calling up replacements.
This article was updated 3 weeks ago