Gareth Southgate says Eric Dier’s club form is the reason he has been left out of England’s squad for the European Championships.
Dier was not included in a 33-man provisional squad named by England boss Southgate on Tuesday afternoon.
Speaking at a subsequent press conference, Southgate paid tribute to him and admitted it was a difficult decision to leave him out.
But he added that Dier’s season for Tottenham was ultimately the reason he has missed out. It means Harry Kane is the only Spurs player in the squad.
Southgate explained: “He’s a man I have tremendous respect for and he’s been a key player on some of our biggest nights. Unfortunately, I just don’t think his season’s been strong enough to be in the squad.
“That’s a difficult call because I know how much he brings to the group, and when you’re away at a tournament, those players who put the team first are critical.
“That wasn’t an easy conversation but he’s an outstanding professional and he took the news in a really professional way.”
Mason Mount, Reece James and Ben Chilwell have been included but their Chelsea team-mates Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori missed out.
There were also places in the squad for West Ham’s Declan Rice and Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka.