Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has told talkSPORT he was ‘surprised’ by Jesse Lingard’s Euro 2020 omission.
Lingard had not played a single Premier League minute for United before he joined West Ham on loan in January, but was then one of the top flight’s best players in the second half of the campaign with the Hammers.
The attacking midfielder scored nine goals and registered four assists in 16 appearances to help the Hammers qualify for Europe and earn a recall to the England fold ahead of this summer’s European Championship.
But he missed the cut when Southgate named his final Euro 2020 squad, and Sven was stunned he was left out by the Three Lions coach.
Eriksson, who bossed England between 2001 and 2006, told The Euro Social on talkSPORT: “It’s a surprise that Lingard’s not there because even to have him on the bench with his pace and one-on-one ability, he’s a clever footballer.
“He had a good season with West Ham. I didn’t see him play every game, but the games I saw, he has been very good.
“It’s always difficult. At the end, you can only pick the number [of players] that you’re allowed to pick. Someone will be disappointed, it’s always like that.”
Southgate has faced a backlash from fans and pundits for including FOUR right-backs in his 26-man squad.
Kieran Trippier, Reece James, Alexander-Arnold and Kyle Walker were selected, with midfielders Lingard and James Ward-Prowse left at home, while Jordan Henderson made the cut despite currently struggling with injury.
England have an array of attacking talent in the squad, though, with Phil Foden, Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford, Jack Grealish and Bukayo Saka competing for starting berths on the wing.
And Eriksson believes Man City’s Sterling and Man United’s Rashford should start either side of Three Lions captain Harry Kane at Euro 2020, despite their lack of form towards the end of the season for their clubs.
When asked who England’s front three should be, the Swede added: “Kane for sure, Sterling and Rashford, but then you have Foden and so many good players.
“The big strength for England is that they have a goalscorer. Keep Harry Kane fit and he will be extremely important for England.
“And then you have a lot of pace in the team with good players in one-on-one situations.
“So if you can defend, you can defend deep, win the ball and counter attack.
“You will kill many opponents, I’m sure about that, because England have quick full-backs, quick wingers, so pace is very important.”