England STILL without Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell at training on their final day of isolation after requests to run social-distanced sessions were rejected… but Chelsea midfielder IS in contention to start against Germany
England’s final preparations for their Euro 2020 last-16 showdown against rivals Germany took place without Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell once again as the pair were forced to train individually due to coronavirus protocols.
The Three Lions held their final training session at their St. George’s Park base on Monday morning with manager Gareth Southgate having 24 of his 26-man squad available.
Mount and Chilwell still had to train away from the main group after pleas by the FA to hold social-distanced sessions, involving the duo, were rejected by Public Health England. Their isolation periods end at Tuesday midnight – just 17 hours before the match against Germany at Wembley.
Mason Mount was forced to still train individually away from the England squad on Monday
The same fate applied to Ben Chilwell as the pair adhered to Euro 2020 coronavirus protocols
The duo were the only two who didn’t train with the main squad on Monday at St. George’s Park
Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate (centre) has had pleas for Mount and Chilwell to join in training, via socially-distanced sessions, rejected by Public Health England
The pair are currently self-isolating and training away from the rest of the squad after coming into close contact with Scotland midfielder Billy Gilmour, who tested positive for Covid-19, following the 0-0 draw at Wembley on June 18.
As detailed by Sportsmail last week, the FA were understood to have pointed Public Health England to the precedent of socially-distanced training set by the Premier League clubs ahead of Project Restart last summer, when players were initially only permitted to work in groups of five before resuming contact training after a fortnight.
They remain flabbergasted that Mount and Chilwell have been forced to isolate for 10 days due to having a short chat with their Chelsea team-mate in the Wembley tunnel, when none of the Scotland players were told to isolate despite sharing a dressing room, the team coach and dining areas in the hotel with Gilmour.
In their representations to Public Health England earlier last week, it is understood that the FA argued the size of the Wembley tunnel and the fact that it is open to the elements should preclude Mount and Chilwell from being deemed close contacts of Gilmour, given the minimal transmission risk in such settings, but their pleas fell on deaf areas.
As a result, Southgate has had to make do without Chilwell and Mount in training ahead of Tuesday night’s clash – with the latter a key part of his plans.
Chelsea left back Chilwell is unlikely to start against Germany but his club-mate Mount would be an almost certain starter in normal circumstances – having been in the XI against Croatia and Scotland.
Mount’s absence in training has been a big blow to Southgate – due to his importance in the XI
Speaking at the weekend, Southgate said he must check on Mount’s state of mind before deciding whether to risk starting him – a decision he’ll leave until as late as possible.
‘It’s been quite complicated. In the main they’ve had to work entirely on their own,’ said Southgate.
‘There’s not only the training but the psychological part of that as well, of course.
‘Yes, we will leave it as late as possible.’
Aside from that obvious setback, it was business as usual for England on Monday as Southgate put his squad through their paces.
The mood within the camp appeared jovial as they took part in some light-hearted drills before the serious matter of Germany at Wembley on Tuesday afternoon (5pm kick-off).
Kyle Walker (right) and Declan Rice share a smile as the latter tries to avoid the other in a drill
Marcus Rashford was another one beaming during Monday’s session at St. George’s Park
Jude Bellingham (centre left) and Kalvin Phillips (centre right) are battling for a midfield spot
Jack Grealish (left) will hope to start against Germany after impressing against Czech Republic