England star 'confronted' Gareth Southgate to explain Jack Grealish's surprise Euros axe

Jack Grealish was left out of England’s Euro 2024 squad. (Image: Joe Prior/Visionhaus)

England head coach Gareth Southgate was reportedly confronted by a senior player seeking an explanation following the surprising exclusion of Jack Grealish from the Euro 2024 squad.

Grealish was one of seven players who didn’t make the cut for the final 26-man team for the Euros alongside Harry Maguire, James Maddison, Curtis Jones, James Trafford, Jarell Quansah and Jarrad Branthwaite.

While it was anticipated that several players would be dropped from the provisional 33-man squad named by Southgate last month, the decision to leave out Grealish sent shockwaves through the football world – both within and outside the England camp.

The Telegraph has reported that players at St. Georges’ Park were taken aback upon hearing that the Manchester City winger wouldn’t be travelling to Germany, with one senior player even approaching Southgate to discuss the decision.

It’s reported that this player sought out Southgate to gain a better understanding of the decision and subsequently explain it to his teammates, who are said to have rallied around the former Aston Villa star.

While it’s emphasised that there were no confrontations following the decision, it’s also highlighted that Grealish was ‘stunned and upset’ upon discovering he wouldn’t be part of England’s squad for the Euros.

Grealish had a challenging season at City last year and Southgate disclosed that the form of other players in the squad was a significant factor in his decision to leave the winger behind.

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England manager Gareth Southgate speaks with staff during a training session (Image: Richard Pelham)

In his pre-match press conference before the Iceland game, Southgate explained that Grealish took the bitter news well: “All the players took the news really respectfully. Of course, all players will believe they should be in, and that’s why they are top players. They have that self-belief and mindset, but the fact is we have some players who have been playing extremely well all season in the league”.

Discussing the exclusion of Grealish and Maddison, he continued: “We just feel other players had stronger seasons, particularly in the last six months or so.”

He also noted the wealth of attacking talent at his disposal: “Attacking areas, in particular, we’re blessed with a lot of options, all slightly different. Madders and Jack both give us something different as well. They’ve been tough calls, calls that we as a group have gone over and over and over.”

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1908278/Jack-Grealish-England-squad-Gareth-Southgate