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Southgate announces England squad for Brazil and Belgium friendlies

Gareth Southgate has announced England’s squad for the upcoming friendlies against Brazil and Belgium. Fresh faces Jarrad Branthwaite and Anthony Gordon are set to make their debut for the Three Lions. However, there are also notable omissions, with Kobe Mainoo and Ben White missing out on selection.

Southgate has highlighted form and personal choices as the main reasons behind these absences. Despite acknowledging the potential and recent progress of Mainoo, he also emphasized the necessity of more first-team experience before stepping into the senior national team. As for Ben White, his absence is due to a personal reluctance to participate in the current setup, despite previous involvements in major tournaments like Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup.

Ivan Toney and Joe Gomez return to the squad after the former served out his ban for betting, while the Liverpool defender has not been selected for the past four years, indicating Southgate’s desire to reintegrate players who have been out for a prolonged time.