England manager Gareth Southgate has revealed that Jarrod Bowen has pulled out of the squad to face North Macedonia in their final Euro 2024 qualifier on Monday.
The Three Lions have already secured progress to next summer’s finals in Germany as the winners of Group C, with Italy taking on Ukraine for the second automatic spot to the tournament.
That essentially makes Monday’s meeting with North Macedonia in Skopje – their final game of the calendar year – a dead-rubber.
The FA confirmed on Sunday that Newcastle United right-back Kieran Trippier had pulled out of contention in order to attend to a personal matter, and Southgate told his pre-match press conference that West Ham United forward Bowen has returned home too.
“Unfortunately Jarrod picked up an injury, I think he felt it a little bit yesterday and again at the end of training today,” Southgate said.
“We didn’t really have enough time to assess it fully and make a really accurate decision before the game so we felt better to leave him in England so that he can get it properly assessed.
“I don’t think it’s going to be anything serious but we just didn’t have enough time and we wouldn’t take a risk in that situation.”
Bowen, who has been capped five times by the England senior side without scoring, was not expected to start for the Three Lions on Monday regardless. Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka, who came off the bench in Friday’s drab 2-0 win at home to Malta, is in line to begin at right wing instead.
If England avoid defeat in North Macedonia, they will emerge from 2023 without a single defeat to their name all year. They have won eight of their nine matches so far, with the only blemish on their record coming in the form of a 1-1 draw with Ukraine in Poland back in September.
READ MORE OF THE LATEST ENGLAND NEWS, QUOTES & MATCH PREVIEWS