Gareth Southgate insists Mason Greenwood is ‘100%’ committed to England despite his dual nationality with Jamaica after the Manchester United striker was overlooked again by Three Lions boss
- Gareth Southgate says Mason Greenwood is committed to playing for England
- The Man United striker was left out of the latest squad for the upcoming games
- As well as England, the 19-year-old is also eligible to play for Jamaica
Gareth Southgate is insistent Mason Greenwood is committed to playing for England and says it was his decision not to pick the forward for either the senior or under-21s team.
Greenwood, who plays for Manchester United against Wolves today, was a notable absentee in Southgate’s 25-man squad named last week for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Hungary, Andorra and Poland.
The teenager’s debut against Iceland in 2020 remains his only cap so far and that was marred when he was sent home alongside Phil Foden for breaching coronavirus rules.
England boss Gareth Southgate insists Mason Greenwood is committed to played for England
The 19-year-old was overlooked by the England boss for the upcoming international break
Though he is still eligible for Jamaica, Southgate is convinced Greenwood’s heart is with the Three Lions.
‘The dual nationality is a bit of a red herring. He 100% wants to play for England and there is no suggestion there is anything else there.’
Greenwood cited an injury for being unavailable for Euro 2020. At 19, he was eligible to be named for the under-21s during this international break but Southgate revealed he’d pulled rank and not considered their manager Lee Carsley pick him.
‘Normally I don’t get involved in the under-21s but I think that at this moment in time he’s beyond that. I want to take a little bit more control of his development internationally.’
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last week appealed for fans to remember that Greenwood would have a ‘long, long future’ for club and country and has needed protecting. The youngster has scored in both of his Premier League games this season.
Greenwood has made a bright start to the season, scoring in both of United’s league games
England faced some criticism for being too cautious during the summer despite reaching the final of Euro 2020 where they lost on penalties to Italy.
Southgate admitted that a couple of his players had questioned the tactics in the group game against Scotland which finished 0-0 but said the complainants had been firmly told there had been no preordained plan to be defensive.
‘I don’t think we’ve ever had an environment here where players aren’t free to express themselves,’ he said.
‘The only time I can remember any reference to that (complaints) was after the Scotland game where one or two seemed to be saying they felt they weren’t allowing themselves to go.
‘I remember saying to them at the time “let’s be clear about this, we’ve never stopped you, or given that sort of messaging”.
‘If we are not tactically prepared with or without the ball we’ll be in trouble in the biggest matches. I’m not going to make a big defensive argument but you know football isn’t just about letting players go and freely do what they want.’