The prospects of Reece James and Aaron Ramsdale making England’s squad for next summer’s Euros appear to hinge on the Chelsea captain’s fitness and the Arsenal goalkeeper’s game time, with Southgate pointing out there is just one more camp after this one before the tournament in Germany

Gareth Southgate says Reece James has taken a risk by opting not to join up with England this month and suggested Aaron Ramsdale needs regular game time to make his Euros squad.

The Three Lions boss told the written media on Thursday he had been hoping to call up Chelsea captain James but the 23-year-old preferred to skip the European Championship qualifiers with Malta and North Macedonia to focus on his fitness.

The right-back – who missed the World Cup with a knee problem – has only just returned to club football after a long hamstring injury which disrupted his start to this season.

While Southgate said he “can understand” James’ decision and had a “really good, long conversation” with the defender, he pointed out that there is just one more international break before next summer’s tournament and agreed with the suggestion that competition for places at right-back is fierce at the moment.

“I was hoping to call up Reece James but he doesn’t feel he’s quite ready,” said Southgate.

“I understand that, he’s had a long path back from a number of injuries. He’s probably a bit cautious in that respect, but I can understand why.

“There is [competition for places] and that’s the risk. He’s only got one more squad before the Euros. So he knows that. We’ve got belief in what he can do. And equally we’re going to learn a lot about him in the next few months playing as a full-back rather than a wing-back [at Chelsea] because that’s also a different role that’s going to have different demands.

England’s November squad
Goalkeepers: Sam Johnstone (Crystal Palace), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal).

Defenders: Levi Colwill (Chelsea), Lewis Dunk (Brighton), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Fikayi Tomori (AC Milan), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), Kyle Walker (Manchester City).

Midfielders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Al-Ettifaq), Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City), Declan Rice (Arsenal).

Forwards: Jarrod Bowen (West Ham), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Bayern Munich), James Maddison (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa), Callum Wilson (Newcastle).

“He completely understands [the risk]. He has only really been able to be with us in March for the first part of the camp. But that’s been because he keeps having these moments where he breaks down.

“There is a reality around his training at the moment [which] is he’s playing, [then] there’s a couple of days recovery… So I understand, given where he’s been with injuries, there’s a little bit more angst, if you like, from his side.

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