England manager Gareth Southgate has revealed he called up Chelsea’s Cole Palmer ahead of club-mate Raheem Sterling because of injuries to no.10s Jude Bellingham and James Maddison.
Palmer is expected to play some role as England host Malta on Friday evening and he can be backed to score anytime at 5/6 with Betfair.
Southgate on picking Palmer over Sterling
Palmer, who has scored four in 10 Premier League games this season for Chelsea, makes the England squad ahead of Blues teammate, Raheem Sterling.
Sterling’s form has improved a lot this season but the winger continues to be shunned by Gareth Southgate. The 28-year-old has now been absent from all five England camps since last winter’s World Cup.
Now, Southgate has explained why Palmer earned an England call-up over Sterling this week:
“In terms of Cole, the key was [we] lost Maddison and Jude so we wanted somebody who could play as a 10,” Southgate said.
“Of course, he’s playing wider at the moment for his club, but we hadn’t lost a winger as such, we’d lost two attacking midfield players. So we’ve got a couple of players now who can fulfill that sort of role for these games.
“Raheem was excellent at the weekend against [Manchester] City, as was Cole. But the position was the reason for [calling up] Cole really.”