Gareth Southgate has explained his said a lack of form for his club was behind the decision to leave Jack Grealish OUT of his England squad for Euro 2024.

The Three Lions boss whittled down his squad from 33 down to 26 ahead of their final warm-up game vs Iceland at Wembley on Friday. In total, seven players who made the provisional list won't be on the plane to Germany, most notably Manchester City star Grealish.

The former Aston Villa talisman struggled for fitness and form under Pep Guardiola last season, but was still widely expected to be a part of the travelling party. However, Southgate opted against picking the forward, with Tottenham's James Maddison another forward-thinking player left out.

Southgate, speaking after his squad was confirmed said on Grealish and Maddison: “As I said, the players took the news respectfully. Of course players believe they should be in and that’s why they are top players because they have self belief and they have that mindset.

“But the fact is we have players who have been playing extremely well all season in the league and we just feel other players have had stronger seasons, particularly in the last six months or so.

“In the attacking areas we are blessed with a lot of options all slightly different. They’ve been tough calls, calls we’ve gone over and over as staff to try and be fair and to try and get the right rationale. We back our decisions, but we recognise we could have gone a different route.”

Along with Grealish and Maddison, goalkeeper James Trafford, defenders Harry Maguire, Jarrad Branthwaite and Jarell Quansah, and midfielder Curtis Jones was left out of the squad. Untied defender Maguire missed out due to injury, admitting he was 'absolutely gutted' to miss out on England's latest attempt to end 58 years of hurt for the men's national team.

He posted on social media: "I am devastated not to have been selected to play for England at the Euros this summer. Despite my best efforts, I have not been able to overcome an injury to my calf. Maybe I pushed myself too hard, to try and make it.

Harry Maguire and Jack Grealish have both missed out on England's squad for Euro 2024 (
Image:
PA)

"Simply, I am absolutely gutted. For me, representing England is the highest honour. It means everything to me. If I can’t help the team as a player, I will support them as a fan – along with the rest of the country.

"Go and win it boys. Next, I will return to the supervision of the Manchester United medical team in order to prepare for next season."

Maddison also posted a statement on social media, revealing he thought he had done enough to be included: "Devastated doesn’t quite cut it. Trained well and worked hard all week but if I’m honest with myself, my form for Spurs when coming back from injury in the second half of the season probably wasn’t at the levels I had set which gave Gareth a decision to make.

"I still thought there would be a space for me in a 26 man squad as I feel I bring something different & had been a mainstay in this whole qualifying campaign for Euro 2024 in Germany but the manager has made the decision and I have to respect that.

"I’ll be back, I have no doubt. Wishing the boys all the luck in the world out in Germany, unbelievable group and lads that I literally call some of my best friends. I genuinely hope football comes home."

England's full squad for Euro 2024

Goalkeepers (3): Dean Henderson ( Crystal Palace ), Jordan Pickford ( Everton ), Aaron Ramsdale ( Arsenal )

Defenders (8): Lewis Dunk ( Brighton & Hove Albion), Joe Gomez ( Liverpool ), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Ezri Konsa (Aston Villa), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier ( Newcastle United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City)

Midfielders (6):Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Jude Bellingham ( Real Madrid ), Conor Gallagher ( Chelsea ), Kobbie Mainoo (Manchester United), Declan Rice (Arsenal), Adam Wharton (Crystal Palace)

Forwards (9):Jarrod Bowen ( West Ham United), Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Anthony Gordon ( Newcastle United ), Harry Kane ( Bayern Munich ), Cole Palmer (Chelsea), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Ivan Toney (Brentford), Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa)