Raheem Sterling dropped for England’s Euro 2020 qualifier tonight after clashing with Catford’s Joe Gomez

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Raheem Sterling was due to be dropped for England’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro tonight as punishment for a training ground clash with Joe Gomez.

The Football Association announced earlier this week that the Manchester City star would not play in the fixture at Wembley Stadium  “as a result of a disturbance in a private team area”.

Catford-raised Gomez – sold by Charlton to Liverpool in 2015 – was confronted by Sterling on the day the pair reported for international duty.

They had exchanged heated words during Sunday’s Premier League match – with the Reds winning 3-1 at Anfield to stretch their lead at the top of the table.

Sterling claimed on his Instagram account that the matter was now resolved. He said: “Both Joe and I have had words, figured things out and moved on. We are in a sport where emotions run high and I am man enough to admit when emotions got the better of me.

“This is why we play this sport because of our love for it – me and Joe Gomez are good, we both understand it was a five to 10-second thing. It’s done, we move forward.”

Gomez, 22, spent four months out with a fractured leg – suffered in December at Burnley – but returned in time to play a part in Liverpool’s Champions League final victory over Tottenham.

The South Londoner has made just one league start for Jurgen Klopp’s title-chasers and was an 87th-minute sub against City.

England head coach Gareth Southgate said: “He had a really bad injury at the turn of the year and to get back into a team who were pushing for the title at that time and were pushing in the Champions League was a really difficult situation.

“He was up against three outstanding, experienced centre-backs at his club. We’ve always thought highly of him as a player and as a character. He’s developing well.

“I know he’ll want to play more with us but he’s already proved to us against the likes of Brazil and Germany that he can cope and thrive at the highest level.

“When you’re not getting a number of games at club level it’s more difficult to come straight into the national team. But that doesn’t mean we’ve lost faith in him – that’s why we’ve kept him in the squad.


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