Paul Merson slams Gareth Southgate over Raheem Sterling England snub
Paul Merson has slammed Gareth Southgate for leaving Raheem Sterling out of his England squad for the upcoming games against Australia and Italy.
The Chelsea winger has been mainstay of the Three Lions teams that have reached the latter stages of the last three major tournaments under Southgate’s leadership.
Sterling’s performances have fluctuated dramatically since his high-profile move from Manchester City, but he appears to be regaining his best form under Mauricio Pochettino.
Rested for the win over Fulham on Monday night, Sterling was back in the starting line-up on Saturday and delivered a vintage display in a 4-1 thrashing of Burnley.
Merson praised the 27-year-old’s ‘outstanding’ contribution and admitted he struggled to comprehend how Southgate could afford to omit him from his plans.
He told Sky Sports: ‘I thought Sterling as outstanding. From box to box Chelsea have been alright, it’s just been putting the ball in the back of the net.
‘Today it came off and it was all down to Sterling he was absolutely outstanding.
‘It beats me (why he isn’t in the England squad) he has his ups and downs but when he has his good games he’s the X-factor.
‘When you want to win World Cup and European Championships you have to have someone out of the ordinary.
‘If they all play to their best in a one-off game he will effect the game more than anybody he has got that. He scores goals, he’s got pace.
‘Of course he has his bad games but how he’s not in that England squad is beyond me.’