Gareth Southgate says Anthony Gordon was “very close” to receiving a call-up for England’s squad for the November international break amid reports the winger could switch allegiances to Scotland.
Despite his strong start to the season for club side Newcastle United, Gordon was again snubbed by Southgate for the European Championship qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia.
With the Three Lions already qualified thanks to a 3-1 win over Italy last month, there were maiden call-ups for Rico Lewis and Ezri Konsa, as well as Chelsea’s Cole Palmer, who played alongside Gordon as the England Under-21s won the European Championships earlier this year, with the Newcastle man claiming the Player of the Tournament award.
The exclusion has led to reports that Gordon could look to play for Scotland instead, eligible to play for the Tartan Army thanks to his grandparents, but Southgate insists the former Everton man is on his radar and only just missed out this time.
— England (@England) November 13, 2023
“He’s a good player,” Southgate told reporters. “He was very good with our Under-21s last year.
“He’s very close, I have to say. I like his attitude, I like the way he works so hard for the team.
“Of course, I’m sure he was hoping to get a call at this moment, but there are good players playing well in that position on the field.”
Southgate is looking to use the upcoming qualifiers to get a good look at some of the fresher faces in the squad, saying: “There is always opportunities for other players coming in.
“In terms of the selection of the team, then we are looking at what’s the right balance, what are the different quality of the players that we can put together so that we have the best possible attacking output – but also with the right structure and balance behind that.”