England manager Gareth Southgate has said in his press conference that he would have selected Raheem Sterling in his latest squad if he had been fully fit.
The Chelsea man missed the last game against Leicester City after suffering a setback in training.
The Blues have been told that the injury is not serious, although they have been urged to tread carefully in order not to aggravate it.
The issue came just days after he started in Chelsea’s Champions League comeback victory over Borussia Dortmund.
The 28-year-old opened the scoring in the first half of that game, doing well under pressure to recover a mishit to fire home.
However, his absence in recent days has left Southgate unable to call up one of his most reliable players ahead of the Euro 2024 opening qualifiers.
Southgate explains Sterling omission
The manager has claimed that although he was unable to pick him, he would certainly have been picked if he had been at 100%.
He said: “Raheem is not fit, so that’s that. Yes, absolutely (I would have selected him if he was fit).”
There is a real Chelsea feel to the squad named for games against Italy and Ukraine.
Wing-back duo Reece James and Ben Chilwell have both been called up not long after returning from injury, with them both showing just how important they are to the Blues since returning.
As well as the defenders, the midfield has a strong Chelsea representation. Mason Mount, despite missing the last few games due to injury, has been selected by Southgate to represent his country.
His popularity is at an all-time low at Stamford Bridge, with him currently not close to signing a new deal with the club.
Conor Gallagher, who has impressed off the bench particularly recently, has also been called up to the England squad.