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England boss apologizes for ‘unfair’ Smalling criticism

Chris Smalling, AS Roma
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Gareth Southgate has praised Chris Smalling for his recent performances while regretting criticizing him earlier.

England head coach says he is open to calling up Manchester United defender Chris Smalling in his squad for the Euro 2020.

Smalling struggled to find his feet at Old Trafford which saw him get excluded from the England squad back in 2017. Southgate then justified his decision saying that the 30-year old lacked the necessary attributes he desired from his center-backs.

But Smalling has managed to raise his game ever since being loaned out to AS Roma at the start of the season.

And after missing out England’s World Cup run to semifinal in 2018, Southgate says Smalling could make his return to the national team. He also said that he regrets criticizing the Roma loan signing.

“I’ve never ruled anybody out. I think that would be wrong,” Southgate said as BBC reports. 

“I think I said I probably regretted the way the message [came over]. By praising others for certain attributes, there was criticism for Chris. It was my fault and it was unfair on him. I think he’s done well in Italy. He’s playing at another big club.

“He was obviously playing at a big club before. We’re watching everybody because we’ve got to make sure we make the right decision.”