LONDON – England coach Gareth Southgate denied on Thursday having any disputes with clubs over the availability of players called up for a pair of friendly matches this month.
Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane and Harry Winks are among many players who had to withdraw from the squad due to injuries.
“Harry Kane ... I knew he was in trouble because he stayed down... Harry Kane doesn’t stay down,” Southgate said, referring to the striker’s problems during last weekend’s Spurs match against Crystal Palace.
“Both him and Harry Winks were scanned, our medical department reviewed, and there is no way they’re available for our two games. Spurs might risk them for the Arsenal game, that’s a different matter,” the coach said at a press conference ahead of Friday’s friendly match against Germany.
“I hear this talk of club v. country ... it’s nonsense. They are injured and they can’t play,” he added.
The Three Lions secured a place in the 2018 World Cup as Group F winners.
England is set to host reigning world champion Germany on Nov. 10 at London’s Wembley Stadium, where the home side will battle Brazil four days later.