Gareth Southgate insists Mason Greenwood IS ‘100 per cent’ committed to playing for England despite his dual citizenship with Jamaica after the Manchester United striker was again overlooked by Three Lions boss
- Gareth Southgate says Mason Greenwood is determined to play for England
- The Man United attacker was left out of the latest squad for upcoming matches
- In addition to England, the 19-year-old is also eligible to play for Jamaica
Gareth Southgate insists Mason Greenwood is determined to play for England and says it was his decision not to choose the attacker for the senior or under-21 squad.
Greenwood, who plays today for Manchester United against Wolves, was a notable absentee from Southgate’s 25-man roster named last week for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Hungary, Andorra and Poland.
The teenager’s debut against Iceland in 2020 remains his only cap to date and that was marred when he was sent home along with Phil Foden for violating coronavirus rules.
England boss Gareth Southgate insists Mason Greenwood is determined to play for England
The 19-year-old was overlooked by the England boss ahead of the upcoming international break
Although he is still eligible for Jamaica, Southgate is convinced that the heart of Greenwood is with the Three Lions.
‘Dual nationality is a bit of a red herring. He wants to play 100% for England and there is no suggestion that there is anything else.”
Greenwood suffered an injury as he was not available for Euro 2020. At the age of 19, he was eligible to be named to the under-21s during this international break, but Southgate revealed that he had made the ranking and had not considered that their manager Lee Carsley would choose him.
“Normally I’m not involved with the under-21s, but I think he’s beyond that at the moment. I want to have more control over his international development.’
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last week appealed to fans to remember that Greenwood would have a “long, long future” for club and country and needed protection. The youngster has scored in both Premier League games this season.
Greenwood has started the season well, scoring in both United league games
England faced some criticism for being too cautious in the summer despite reaching the Euro 2020 final where they lost to Italy on penalties.
Southgate admitted that some of his players had questioned the tactics in the 0-0 group game against Scotland, but said the complainants had been firmly told there was no premeditated 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 it (complaints) was after the game in Scotland where one or two people seemed to say they felt they shouldn’t go.
“I remember saying to them at the time, ‘let’s be clear about this, we never stopped you, or gave you any messages like that.’
“If we are not tactically prepared, with or without the ball, we will get into trouble in the biggest games. I’m not going to make a big defensive argument, but you know football isn’t just about letting players go and do what they want freely.”