Gary Cahill steps down from England duty after World Cup
Gary Cahill has announced his decision to take a “step back” from the England team to focus on his Chelsea career.
The 32-year-old defender, who was the most capped member of Gareth Southgate’s squad in Russia this summer, has struggled to force his way into Maurizio Sarri’s first team so far this season.
And ahead of the announcement of the squad for the start of the Uefa Nations League later this week Cahill has told Southgate he doesn’t want to be considered for the time being at least.
“It’s time to take a step back,” he told Chelsea TV. I feel it’s the right moment to do that. If I’m ever needed in the future then obviously I’m there.”
Cahill saw Harry Maguire selected ahead of him in central defence in Russia with his final Three Lions appearance coming against Belgium in the third-place play-off.
The news follows Jamie Vardy’s decision to also call time on his own international career.
The Leicester striker won 26 caps for his country but does not look like adding to that tally after choosing, like Cahill, to focus on the domestic game.
“To be honest with you, this has been on my mind for a while,” he told The Guardian.
“I’m not getting any younger and you can see, to be fair to the gaffer, he wants to make it more youthful, which obviously had its benefits during the World Cup – we got to the semi-finals and finished fourth, which is equal to the furthest we have ever been on foreign soil.
“So I just said to Gareth that I think it’s probably best from now on, especially with the way he wants to go, to bring youngsters in who he thinks have got the ability and start nurturing them into international football.”
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