Football

Gareth Southgate confirms Raheem Sterling decision after World Cup return


England manager Gareth Southgate has confirmed that Raheem Sterling is available to face France in Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final against France.

Sterling missed the last-16 victory over Senegal after returning home to support his family following a burglary at his home, but has since rejoined the group in Qatar and took part in training on Friday.

Now, Southgate has confirmed that Sterling is available for selection against France but conceded that he did not yet know what role the Chelsea forward will have.

“I’ve spoken briefly with Raheem at training,” Southgate told a press conference. “I need to pick up with him later because we’ve had other things going on.

“Great that he’s back with us, first and foremost. He wanted to train today. Normally, we wouldn’t do that, having been on a long flight, but it was a lighter session so no risk with doing that.

“He’ll be involved tomorrow, but what that looks like, I’ve got to decide because I’ve not been able to see him on the training pitch. It’s hard to tell what his level is. He’s not been with us on the pitch since Saturday, so we’ll just have to assess that.

“But really pleased he’s back and of course he’s an important player for us.”

In Sterling’s absence, Phil Foden started on the left wing against Senegal, with Southgate opting for the Manchester City man ahead of the in-form Marcus Rashford or Jack Grealish, both of whom will hope for minutes against France.



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