Raheem Sterling’s struggle to force his way back into Gareth Southgate’s plans with England could give Anthony Gordon ‘food for thought’ on a potential approach from Scotland. That is the view of Chris Sutton, with the Three Lions boss admitting the Newcastle star is ‘very close’ to earning his first senior international callup.
Gordon has bounced back from a slow start to life at St James’ Park, and has emerged as of the standout stars so far this season for Eddie Howe’s team. The versatile forward has already registered four goals and two assists this term, including the recent home winner against Arsenal.
However, competition for attacking spots in the England squad is intense, and another player who could consider himself unlucky to miss out is Sterling. The former Liverpool and Manchester City forward was an automatic pick for several years under Southgate, but a loss of form since his move to Chelsea means the 28-year-old has not featured for his country since the World Cup quarter-final defeat to France.
Sutton is convinced Sterling is ahead of Gordon in the current pecking order, which could lead to the Newcastle forward having ‘thinking to do’ over the coming years. The pundit believes Scotland’s recent successes under Steve Clarke could prove tempting too, with qualification secured for a second successive European Championship.
He told the Mail Online: “The fact Anthony Gordon’s played for England Under 21s is a big deal. But the longer he goes – and the position which he plays in is a really competitive position, normally off the left-hand side for Newcastle, but you’ve got Raheem Sterling, for example, [who] can’t get in the squad.
“Would we think at this moment in time he is ahead of Anthony Gordon in the pecking order? Yes, we would. So as the years go on, then of course, Anthony Gordon will have thinking to do. From his perspective, it must be about him seeing himself progress in the near future with England. Otherwise, why wouldn’t he want to go and play for Scotland in a major tournament?
“Scotland have already qualified for the Euros, so it’ll be interesting to see whether Gareth makes a decision on Anthony Gordon quickly or whether Anthony Gordon thinks, ‘do you know what, sod it, I want to play in the Euros, I’ll go and play’. And I don’t think we could argue with him to make that decision. So that’s food for thought, isn’t it, for Anthony Gordon?”
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