Southampton defender Ryan Bertrand last night withdrew from the England squad with a back injury as confirmed by the Football Association (FA).
This means the former Chelsea man will miss friendlies against the Netherlands on Friday and Italy four days later for Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions.
In a statement [H/T Reuters], the FA said Bertrand was “returning to Southampton for further assessment on a back issue.”
“Bertrand’s withdrawal is a precautionary measure, but he won’t play in this month’s matches.”
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There is competition for places in this England squad ahead of the upcoming 2018 World Cup in Russia - especially in Bertrand’s position.
Tottenham Hotspur’s Danny Rose and Manchester United’s Ashley Young will now have their chance to shine as England’s left-back in Bertrand’s absence during this two-game friendly run.
Given Southampton’s current troubles, and the fact back-up left-back Matt Targett is currently on loan at Fulham, Saints fans will hope Bertrand’s back troubles will not affect his appearances for the club.