06.06.2024 20:14 h

Grealish left out of England squad for Euro 2024

Jack Grealish was a shock omission from England's Euro 2024 squad as Gareth Southgate axed the Manchester City winger on Thursday after his disappointing end to the season.

Grealish paid the price for a significant dip in form in the second half of the Premier League campaign as he became the most high-profile star to be dropped from Southgate's provisional 33-man squad.

The 28-year-old wasn't the only big name to suffer Euro heartache as Manchester United defender Harry Maguire and Tottenham playmaker James Maddison also missed out.

Grealish was an unused substitute during City's FA Cup final defeat against Manchester United in May after being left out of the Premier League champions' title-winning game against West Ham.

He did feature for England as a substitute in their win in a friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday, but it wasn't enough to convince Southgate to take him to Germany.

Maguire was unable to prove his fitness after struggling with a calf injury, while Maddison endured a poor end to the domestic season.

Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite, Liverpool midfielder Curtis Jones, Burnley goalkeeper James Trafford and Liverpool defender Jarell Quansah were the other omissions from Southgate's final 26-man squad.

The Football Association revealed the squad ahead of schedule as players who missed out made their omissions public.

"All the players took the news really respectfully. Of course, all players will think they should be in and that's why they are top players," Southgate told reporters.

"They have that self-belief and mindset, but the fact is we have some players who have been playing extremely well in the league all season.

"We just felt other players had stronger seasons particularly in the last six months or so."

Maguire has been a mainstay of Southgate's defence throughout his reign as coach.

But the 31-year-old centre-back's failure to recover for United's FA Cup final win against Manchester City in May -- after spending several weeks on the sidelines -- left him with little chance of winning his fitness battle.

"Harry has made some progress but it's been complicated, we definitely wouldn't have had him for the group stages," Southgate said.

Crystal Palace's Marc Guehi, Brighton's Lewis Dunk, Liverpool's Joe Gomez and Aston Villa's Ezri Konsa will compete to play along Manchester City's John Stones at the heart of England's defence.

"I am devastated not to have been selected to play for England at the Euros this summer," Maguire said on Instagram.

"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. Simply, I am absolutely gutted."

Maddison's recent struggles at Tottenham -- combined with stiff competition in his position from Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden, Cole Palmer and Bukayo Saka -- delivered a fatal blow to his hopes.

"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," Maddison said on social media.

United left-back Luke Shaw is in the squad despite not playing since February, while his club team-mate Kobbie Mainoo, 19, is the youngest member of the group.

"At the moment we think he could have some involvement in the second group game, but you have to keep hitting the markers," Southgate said of Shaw.

Crystal Palace midfielder Adam Wharton, 20, is included after a strong spell since his move from Blackburn in January.

England, chasing a first major trophy for 58 years, start their Euro campaign against Serbia on June 16 before facing Denmark and Slovenia in their other Group C fixtures.

Southgate, whose side host Iceland in their last warm-up on Friday, said: "It's a very open tournament. We're excited about our prospects.

"We're experienced, but we know we have to deliver in this moment."