Gareth Southgate released his England squad for Euro 2024 qualifying in March with some controversial choices. The runner-up from Euro 2020 has a pair of games next weekend. First off is a trip to the team it lost to in that Euro 2020 Final, Italy. Then, the Three Lions host Ukraine at Wembley on Sunday, March 26.

Eighteen of the 25-man squad featured in that Euro 2020 squad that lost to Italy. The additions of Ivan Toney and Marc Guéhi are the only two that did not feature on the World Cup 2022 squad. However, this does lead to some major exclusions.

Based on injury, Raheem Sterling is out. Gareth Southgate said Sterling would have made the squad. However, an injury ruled him out, meaning he is also likely going to miss Chelsea’s last game before the international break at Everton.

Based on form, Ben White and Trent Alexander-Arnold are not part of Southgate’s squad. The head coach said the right backs he did select, namely Reece James, Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker, are just ahead of those two.

Toney makes England squad in March, Balogun does not

If right back was one position of depth England is blessed with, striker could be another. In Southgate’s squad, Ivan Toney looks to make his first international appearance. The Brentford striker has been on fine form again this season with 16 goals, third-best in the Premier League.

However, his inclusion meant Reims striker Folarin Balogun did not make the squad. Balogun is a 21-year-old that currently has 16 goals. That is tied for third in Ligue Un. However, Balogun has never earned a call up to the England squad, only representing the Three Lions at youth level.

Balogun was born in New York City, moving back to England at the age of 2. Still, his birthplace in the States allows him to be a potential USMNT candidate. In fact, he played for the U-18 USMNT squad during one of its camps.

Upon learning he did not earn a callup to Southgate’s England squad for the March camp, Balogun posted on his Instagram story “In life, go where you’re appreciated.” An ominous message. But, perhaps one that shows he is annoyed by having to wait so long with England.

For what it is worth, the United States did not call Balogun up to its squad in the March 2023 camp, either.