Jude Bellingham and Lewis Dunk have been ruled out of England’s Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia.
Real Madrid-bound Bellingham is still suffering with the hamstring injury that sidelined him for Borussia Dortmund’s heart-breaking season finale, when they let slip the Bundesliga title by drawing 2-2 at home to Mainz.
The 19-year-old midfielder will report to St George’s Park to receive further treatment, but will play no part in either match, a team statement confirmed.
Brighton defender Lewis Dunk has withdrawn through injury (Tim Goode/PA)
Brighton defender Dunk has withdrawn from the squad through injury and will not travel to the national football centre – the only player from Gareth Southgate’s original 25-man squad who is not now due to join up.
England players began to gather at St George’s Park on Sunday, preparing for Friday’s trip to face Malta in Ta’ Qali and Monday’s fixture against North Macedonia at Old Trafford.
West Ham’s Declan Rice, who lifted the Europa Conference League trophy in midweek, will join in the coming days, as will the five players from Manchester City’s Champions League-winning squad.
Jack Grealish, John Stones, Phil Foden, Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips are all expected to be part of City’s bus parade in Manchester on Monday before reporting for duty.
In a video posted on England’s social media accounts on Sunday, Southgate said: “We’ve a little less training than we would have liked but today was an important session in terms of players getting back into their football movements.
“They all keep themselves in good shape but you’re not training with the team in that period and you have to adapt your body back to the rhythm…
“We’ll get the players through today so they’re ready to go tomorrow and then we start the more tactical preparation for the game with Malta.
“I think what we’ve shown in the last few months is that we’re a team who now can take on some of the best teams in the world.
“We showed that in the World Cup and we definitely showed that by winning in Naples (the 2-1 win over Italy in March), which was a really important game for us not only in terms of qualification but in terms of our confidence and setting some markers for what we are as a team.
“If you’re a really big team you nail those big games and then you don’t slip up with the teams you are expected to beat and that’s the challenge for us now.
“We’re at the end of the season, we’ve had a lot of different distractions. There’s any number of reasons or excuses if you search for them but we can’t have a team looking for excuses.
“We want to consistently perform at a high level and we have to start that from the minute the players arrive.”