Gareth Southgate explains Raheem Sterling’s decision upon his return from the World Cup

Gareth Southgate explains Raheem Sterling's decision upon his return from the World Cup

England manager Gareth Southgate has announced that Raheem Sterling will play against France in Saturday’s World Cup quarterfinal.

Sterling missed the last-16 match against Senegal after rushing home to help his family after a house burglary. Still, he has now rejoined the squad in Qatar and participated in training on Friday.

Gareth Southgate has already confirmed Sterling’s availability for selection against France but has admitted that he does not yet sure what role the Chelsea attacker will play.

“I talked briefly with Raheem during training,” Southgate said at a news conference.

First and foremost, I’m glad he’s back with us. He wanted to go to the gym today. We wouldn’t normally do that after such a long travel, but it was a lighter session, so there was no danger in doing so.

“He’ll be participating tomorrow, but I’ll have to determine what that looks like since I haven’t seen him on the training field.” It’s challenging to determine what his skill level is. He hasn’t been on the field with us since Saturday, so we’ll have to wait and see.

“But I’m glad he’s back and a crucial player for us.”

In Sterling’s absence, Phil Foden began on the left flank against Senegal, with Southgate preferring the Manchester City midfielder over the in-form Marcus Rashford or Jack Grealish, who will hope to play against France.